Fuel efficiency technology in European heavy-duty vehicles: Baseline and potential for the 2020–2030 timeframe

Published: 2017.07.16
By

Oscar Delgado, Felipe Rodríguez, and Rachel Muncrief

Heavy-duty vehicles produce about a quarter of all carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from road transport in the European Union (EU), and some 5% of the EU’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Their share is growing, as emissions from cars and vans decline in response to increasingly stringent CO2 standards for those vehicles.

Fact sheet: EnglishGerman

The technical research described in this report informs stakeholders on the current status of fuel efficiency performance and the technological potential for improving the fuel efficiency of new heavy-duty freight-hauling vehicles in the EU in the 2020–2030 timeframe. The analysis focuses on two vehicle segments on either end of the freight hauling operational spectrum: long-haul tractor-trailers and urban rigid delivery trucks.

Key findings:

  1. Current vehicle baseline. The baseline fuel consumption of a typical 2015 European 40-tonne 4x2 tractor-trailer over the proposed regulatory Long Haul cycle is 33.1 L/100km. Similarly, the baseline fuel consumption of a typical 2015 European 12-tonne 4x2 rigid truck over the proposed regulatory Urban Delivery cycle is 21.4 L/100km.
  2. Tractor-trailer potential in the mid-term. Compared to the baseline tractor-trailer, available efficiency technologies can reduce fuel use by 27% in long haul operation. This amounts to a reduction in fuel consumption from the tractor-trailer baseline of 33.1 L/100km to 24.0 L/100km. The corresponding average annual reduction is 3.1% per year from 2015 to 2025.
  3. Tractor-trailer potential in the long-term. Compared to the baseline tractor-trailer, well-known but not yet widely commercialized technologies can achieve a 43% fuel consumption reduction in long haul operation by 2030. This would require an average annual reduction from 2015 to 2030 of 3.6%, reducing the fuel consumption of new tractor-trailers to 18.9 L/100km by 2030.
  4. Rigid truck potential in the mid-term. The application of available technologies to the baseline 12-tonne delivery truck results in a 23% reduction in fuel consumption. Starting from a baseline fuel consumption of 21.4 L/100km, mid-term technology would reduce fuel consumption to 16.5 L/100km. The corresponding average annual reduction is 2.6% per year from 2015 to 2025.
  5. Rigid truck potential in the long-term. The long-term package consists mostly of technologies that are not yet commercialized. The exception is the hybrid-powertrain. Although full hybrid delivery trucks are currently available on the market, we opted to include this technology in the longer-term package due to its compatibility with advanced road load reduction technologies. The long-term package results in a 43% reduction in fuel consumption from the 2015 baseline, an annual improvement of around 3.6% per year from 2015–2030. This amounts to a reduction in fuel consumption from a baseline of 21.4 L/100km to 12.1 L/100km by 2030.