Small measures will help but none can currently meet the 20% reduction in fuel consumption by 2020 targets.
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- Feb 21, 2012
An already fuel efficient Big Rig taking on a European mountain climb.
A new Report
states that fleets need support, not regulation, to help reach European 20-20-20 commitments.
The report released by Goodyear-Dunlop reveals that despite efforts to improve fuel efficiency, 1 in 7 European Over-The-Road haulers predict they will be out of business within eight years unless drastic developments are made to improve fleet fuel efficiency. At a dedicated fleet symposium that took place in Brussels last month, Goodyear-Dunlop presented several recommendations to help the commercial road transport sector to improve their fuel efficiency.
The fuel consumption of a vehicle has a direct impact on its CO2 emissions. Goodyear-Dunlop’s Road to 2020 report shows that a third of European fleets currently have no plans in place to respond to expected Europe-wide CO2 regulation. In its most recent Transportation White Paper, the European Commission gave fleets clear indications that further regulation and taxation on fuel and CO2 emissions will be introduced in the coming decade.
At the same time, fleets are looking at industry and policy-makers to help them achieve greater efficiency:
- 33% want the EU to invest in fuel efficient technology and development programs.
- 25% want a modeling tool that predicts the cost and CO2 savings of investments in green equipment and training.
- 25% want more information on the factors affecting fuel efficiency.
- 20% want European legislation that incentivizes efficient fleets.
Michel Rzonzef, VP, Goodyear-Dunlop commercial tire business EMEA:
Fuel efficiency is priority ONE!
"The road freight sector is facing enormous pressure to meet Europe’s ambitious climate change targets, but despite their commitment to fuel economy, we found many fleets could be better prepared to handle the cost and operational impacts of a potential carbon regulation. The research confirmed that the overwhelming majority of fleets already have robust fuel efficiency measures in place, and therefore struggle to see what else they can do to improve efficiency and lower carbon emissions to achieve even stronger goals.
With prices at the pump rising and 40% of fleets reporting they are under customer pressure to green their operations, it is unsurprising that over 90% are already working to improve their fuel economy:
European “Target 2020”
- 70% have invested in eco-driving training.
- 60% have procured more efficient vehicles.
- 40% have improved logistics and route planning.
- 40% have switched to more fuel efficient tires.
With only 8% of fleets having taken no action to reduce their fuel use, Europe’s road haulers are skeptical about how much more they can do to increase efficiency.
70% of European fleets currently work toward a self-imposed target for either fuel savings or CO2 savings. With substantial efforts already underway, fleets are conservative in estimating possible further efficiency savings:
- 52% of fleets do not think they can achieve further efficiency savings of more than 10%.
- Only 10% believes the sector can achieve the 20% efficiency savings target outlined in the EU’s 20-20-20 low-carbon commitments.
- 20% of fleets are unsure as to whether any further savings can be made.
Interestingly, fleets from countries with lower fuel prices are more optimistic. In both Poland and Spain, where fuel costs are below the EU average, a fifth of fleets are confident they can achieve a further 20% efficiency savings by 2020. In the UK, however, where fuel prices are higher than the European average, a third of fleets says that they have done all they can to improve fuel efficiency, and no more savings can be made.
Based on the findings, Goodyear-Dunlop calls on policy-makers to consider the following to help the commercial road transport sector reduce emissions and improve efficiency:
- Making tire pressure monitoring systems mandatory on all new Heavy Duty Vehicles.
- Investing in improved tire pressure monitoring technology for Heavy Duty Vehicles.
- Offering incentives to those fleet operators who invest in aerodynamic improvements or purchase tires that achieve A, B, C grades on the new EU tire label, in both rolling resistance and wet grip.
- Adjusting EU restrictions on weight and height for Heavy Duty Vehicles to improve efficiency.
This report was launched at Driving Fuel Efficiency in Europe’s Road Freight Transport - A Goodyear-Dunlop Fleet Symposium.
Goodyear Dunlop set out to understand the challenges European fleet managers are currently facing and conducted a quantitative survey of over 400 European long-and regional-haul fleet managers between September and November 2011. The survey research was supplemented by in-depth interviews with 16 fleet managers and 20 industry experts, academics and policy makers.
Respondents from the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland and Benelux were contacted via e-mail and phone and were asked 20 quantitative questions about their experiences and opinions on managing fuel efficiency. Survey results represented a wide range of firms in the sector: 60% fleets of 1-50 trucks (these are the fleets most at risk from rising costs), 30% managed fleets of 51-250 trucks, and a tenth managed fleets above this size. Full results will be revealed at Goodyear Dunlop Fleet Symposium on January 25th, 2012.