Commercial vehicle manufacturers push fuel efficiency and environmental protection with “vision 20-20”
The European commercial vehicle manufacturers are taking the lead in pushing fuel efficiency to new levels, with the clear goal to contribute further to sustainable mobility around the world.
Daimler, DAF, Iveco, MAN, Scania, Volkswagen and Volvo Group outlined their views in a joint press conference at the international motor show for commercial vehicles, IAA, in Hanover, stressing that shaping the future of transportation is a collective challenge.
“To underline our determination, the commercial vehicle industry has united behind the Vision 20-20”, said Andreas Renschler, Chairman of the commercial vehicles Board of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) and Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG.
“Our direct contribution is a further decrease in the fuel consumption of modern trucks by on average 20% per tonnekilometre by the year 2020 . In addition, our industry will actively help strike a balance between mobility and environmental protection through a partnership with political leaders, the fuel industry, the hauliers, vehicle operators and, last but not least, the drivers themselves.”
The manufacturers’ ambitious strategy fits in the recently defined EU objective to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions by 20% towards the 2020 horizon. Road transport can contribute to this objective with an integrated approach, combining increased fuel-efficiency with the larger use of alternative fuels, more efficient transport, better infrastructure and supportive policy measures.
Transport enables growth
Road transport is key to the global economy. In the industrialised countries, trucks carry nearly 80 percent of all freight. Statistically, every single day, trucks deliver 70 kg of goods to each European citizen. Commercial vehicles are also enablers of employment and an engine of economic growth in many other sectors worldwide.
Renschler: “For our planet, however, this development is also generating major challenges – from congestion, over high energy prices to global warming. Our task is to make sure the trucks and buses of tomorrow serve our society, with minimum impact on our environment.”
Modern trucks, vans and buses already set the standard in terms of safety, efficiency and environment. Pollutant emissions such as NOx and particulate matter have been reduced by as much as 85% and 95% respectively since the late 1980s. The commercial vehicle industry has cut the fuel consumption of its products by more than a third since the 1970s.
Progress will continue with improved combustion engines, hybrid trucks and buses, other innovative drive-trains and the use of alternative fuels. A further 20% reduction by 2020 will require the utmost of the manufacturers’ engineers and management.
Teaming up for more efficiency
However, developing technological solutions is not enough to address all of the traffic-related concerns worldwide. Political leaders, the fuel industry, the hauliers, vehicle operators and drivers must all do their part to help shape sustainable mobility.
The most important lever to push efforts in terms of sustainable transportation is political support. Renschler: “We need governments as allies to enhance the market take-up of new technologies, address bottlenecks in infrastructure, promote transport efficiency, and harmonise regulatory standards and test cycles.”
Renschler: “Our message is that the world can’t go without trucks, vans and buses, but that we can go without emissions. The IAA 2008 is proof, that our industry is more than ready. We invite all of our colleagues – and for that matter, all interested parties – to team up and join the effort.”
The ACEA commercial vehicle members are Daimler AG, DAF Trucks, Iveco SpA, MAN AG, Scania AB, Volkswagen AG and AB Volvo. Commercial vehicle industry plays a key role in the European economy. They produce 2.6 million commercial vehicles every year, generating a turnover of nearly € 70 billion. A quarter of a million skilled staff are employed in their manufacture. Three quarters of a million more Europeans depend on the industry for their jobs, including parts suppliers, distributors, dealers and those providing after-sales care. A further 2.6 million, employed in the € 250 billion-a-year haulage industry, complete the picture.
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