The new regulations set out to reduce carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions. To achieve this, truck manufacturers need to invest in the development of technology that makes their vehicles more fuel efficient, because fuel consumption is directly linked to emissions. Standardising how CO₂ emissions from heavy-duty vehicles are measured through VECTO should have some major benefits for fleets. Most importantly, it has the potential to help cut operating costs and will result in your fleet using less fuel and emitting less CO₂. At the same time, VECTO will provide greater transparency when it comes to comparing different vehicle configurations.
While the current regulations target truck manufacturers, further regulations that will affect fleet operators are expected before long.
By encouraging manufacturers to cut the emissions of their vehicles, the CO₂ reduction programme (EU Regulation 2019/1242) and VECTO will result in the development of fuel-saving technologies. Whether that leads to more trucks relying on hybrid drive systems or further reductions in the rolling resistance of tyres, the result is the same: lower running costs for fleets.
According to the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA), which also says that fuel accounts for 30% of total operating costs: “Fuel efficiency is one of the most important competitive factors in developing and selling trucks and buses. Therefore, market forces ensure continuous progress in fuel economy and CO₂ emission reduction.”
The new CO₂ reduction targets will put even greater emphasis on this while also impacting on the purchasing process. Until now, heavy-duty vehicle operators have found buying the right vehicle for their business confusing. There’s a huge variety of vehicles available and no overall benchmark for judging one against another.
One of the major benefits of VECTO will be to introduce transparency into the truck purchasing process and give the buyer more control. The data fed into the VECTO simulation by all manufacturers will be certified using the same processes. Vehicle fuel consumption will be backed up with certified comparative data, because VECTO will show the results for different configurations of fuel-saving equipment. This means that buyers will get a 'customer information file' from their dealer with each new vehicle. The benchmark consumption and CO₂ emissions performance figures will enable buyers to accurately compare similar trucks at the dealership.
Since the data also includes the rolling resistance figures for all the tyres on the vehicles, buyers will be able to use this information to specify their trucks according to the kind of work they’ll be doing and see which tyres are the best suited, since this depends very much on the mission profile of a fleet.
The European Commission’s hope is that the market will become more self-regulating. Trucks that guzzle more fuel will be phased out as sales fall. Cleaner trucks will enjoy greater success, prompting more innovation from manufacturers as they seek to sell more fuel-efficient vehicles.
But the real winner will be all of us and the environment, thanks to those significantly lower CO₂ emissions.