New EU Regulation on Heavy Duty Vehicle CO2 Emissions Monitoring Published
Having already implemented legislation covering the average carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from passenger cars and from light goods vehicles, in 2014, the European Commission turned their attention to heavy duty vehicles, i.e. goods vehicles with a GVW exceeding 3,500 kg and passenger vehicles with more than eight passenger seats. According to the European Commission’s estimates, CO2 emissions from heavy duty vehicles currently represent approximately 25% of the total road transport CO2 emissions in the EU, and are expected to increase even further in the future unless measures are introduced to reduce them.
The first step in implementing a long term CO2 reduction regime for heavy duty vehicles, was to develop a method of accurately determining the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of heavy duty vehicles, bearing in mind the wide variety of final vehicle specifications available, e.g. engine and gearbox options, axle and drive axle configurations, tyre sizes and specifications, cab styles, bodywork configurations, etc. To address this issue, in association with the EU’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Commission developed the Vehicle Energy Consumption Calculation Tool (VECTO), which is a calculation tool that allows the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of specific vehicle configurations, to be calculated using input data measured from the components and systems that make up the completed vehicle, e.g. fuel consumption data from engine dynamometer testing of the engine, rolling resistance data for the tyres, aerodynamic drag information for the completed vehicle, etc.
The use of the VECTO calculation tool to establish fuel consumption and CO2 emissions figures for heavy duty vehicles is mandated by EU Regulation No. 2017/2400, which was published on 29th December 2017. This Regulation requires heavy duty vehicle manufacturers to establish fuel consumption and CO2 emissions figures for each vehicle they produce. The introduction dates for compliance with this Regulation vary depending on the type of vehicle. The first vehicle types for which compliance with this Regulation will be mandated are 4x2 rigid trucks and tractors with a GVW not exceeding 16,000 kg and all 6x2 rigid trucks and tractors. For these vehicle types, compliance becomes mandatory for all new vehicles registered from 1st July 2019.
The second step in implementing a long term CO2 reduction regime for heavy duty vehicles, was to implement a monitoring and reporting procedure to allow the European Commission to collate data on the CO2 emissions, of all heavy duty vehicles registered throughout the EU on an annual basis. Initially the European Commission need this data to establish a "baseline" on which future CO2 emissions reduction targets can be based. Going forward, this annual data will be used by the European Commission to monitor the compliance of heavy duty vehicle manufacturers with future CO2 emissions reduction targets.
The new EU Regulation specifying this monitoring and reporting procedure, (EU) No. 2018/956, was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 9th July 2018. This new Regulation specifies that, beginning with the 2019 calendar year, Member States and heavy duty vehicle manufacturers must keep a record of certain specified data for each vehicle registered during that calendar year and provide the European Commission with a report containing the data for the whole calendar year by 28th February of the following calendar year.
The data to be recorded and reported by the Member States is fairly straightforward and consists of the vehicle identification number (VIN), make, bodywork code and powertrain type. The data to be recorded and reported by the heavy duty vehicle manufacturers is far more comprehensive. In addition to the vehicle specification information and the calculated fuel consumption and CO2 emissions figures, the heavy duty vehicle manufacturer must also record and report details of all of the data used as inputs for the VECTO calculation tool.