On February 18, the EU reached the decision to regulate CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles. To speed up development, Volvo Trucks says as well as investment in technology, additional measures are needed to stimulate demand for vehicles with low CO2 emissions.
Roger Alm, President of Volvo Trucks said that cutting climate emissions from heavy-duty vehicles is an incredibly important task fundamental to the provision of sustainable transport. “It’s natural for the EU to now introduce limits on CO2 emissions,” he said. “[But] to speed up the transition, we would however also like to see stronger financial incentives for the customers who take the lead and choose more climate-friendly vehicles.”
The use of electric trucks will be a significant contribution to reducing CO2 emissions and Volvo Trucks launched its first truck models with electric powertrains in 2018 and will start series production this year. “We’re at the stage where the technology will soon be ready for wider applications in heavy-duty transport,” said Lars Mårtensson, Director of Environment and Innovation. “If demand is stimulated, and the new charging infrastructure network is expanded, the volume will also be able to increase at a faster rate than would otherwise be possible.”
Other climate solutions include natural gas and biogas. Volvo says that running a Volvo FH LNG on natural gas cuts CO2 emissions by about 20% compared with diesel. With biogas, the tank-to-wheel emissions can be cut by 100%.
At the same time, Volvo Trucks is continuing to develop the diesel trucks that currently make up the majority of its sales. Since the early 1990s, the fuel usage and CO2 emissions of a typical long-distance Volvo truck have decreased by about 20% and there is room for additional improvements with more efficient powertrains, lower rolling resistance, and better aerodynamics.
The EU framework covers emissions from the actual vehicles, but Volvo Trucks takes a broader approach to the question.
“If all parts of the transport system work together toward the same goal, we can reduce the climate impact much more. Better logistics, increased access to biofuels, fuel-efficient training for drivers, aerodynamic trailers, improved road standards, and expanded opportunities to use high-capacity vehicles are just some of the ways in which other parties can contribute,” said Lars Mårtensson.
The new EU regulation for CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles applies to vehicles manufactured and registered in or after 2019. Average emissions are to be cut by 15% starting in 2025 and by 30% starting in 2030 (compared with 2019 values). Heavy-vehicle road traffic accounts for almost 5% of the total EU greenhouse gas emissions.
Photos: Roger Alm, President of Volvo Trucks, Lars Mårtensson, Director of Environment and Innovation