Since 2019, new EU legislation requires all heavy-duty trucks sold in Europe to come with declared fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
Why has it been introduced?
Heavy-duty trucks account for roughly five per cent of greenhouse gas emissions in Europe. However, unlike passenger cars, heavy-duty trucks are typically custom-built to meet specific customer requirements, and come in a wide variety of different sizes and configurations.
Many of these customisations, such as the number of axles, engine power, transmission, tyres, and cab design, have an impact on the truck’s fuel consumption. Then there is the complete vehicle to consider, and whether it is a rigid, tractor plus trailer, the size of the trailer or the type of body attached.
All these factors make it near impossible to impose a universal standard. However, through many different measurements and the European Commission’s VECTO (Vehicle Energy Consumption Calculation Tool) it is possible to calculate specific CO2 emissions and fuel consumption for each individual truck configuration. Since all data are calculated and certified using the same process, this ensures consistency and transparency.
How does it work?
All components that influence fuel consumption – such as tyres, aerodynamics, engine transmission, weight, axles, etc. – are tested separately. The results are then used as input into the Vehicle Energy Consumption Calculation Tool, which creates a simulation to calculate the expected CO2 emissions. Even though it is a computer simulation, the input data is obtained from physical tests of each individual component.
How declared CO2 and fuel consumption values affects truck owners?
The declared values offer greater transparency and make it easier to compare customised offers from truck manufacturers. It also helps transport operators get a better insight into how fuel consumption and carbon emissions are affected by different factors, such as aerodynamics and rolling resistance. Overall, the declared values makes it easier for truck owners to choose a fuel-efficient solution for their business.
How reliable are the declared values?
While calculations are based on input data from real tests, the final results are still based on standardized computer simulations and not on real driving conditions. The declared values are unlikely to meet all truck-owners’ needs, such as taking into account trucks that drive fully-loaded in one direction and drive back empty. For this reason, the declared values should be seen as a guide when comparing truck offers and Renault Trucks will continue to guide its customers to choosing the best solution.