Fu­ture lies in self-reg­u­la­tion

Leg­is­la­tion was top of the agenda at a man­u­fac­turer’s press con­fer­ence at the IAA, writes Mark Smyth

Business Day - Motor News - - COMMERCIAL NEWS -

AT THE IAA show, the Euro­pean Au­to­mo­bile Man­u­fac­tur­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion (ACEA) al­ways holds a press con­fer­ence with some of the top ex­ec­u­tives from the truck in­dus­try in or­der to out­line some of the is­sues fac­ing the in­dus­try and this year the fo­cus was again on emis­sion leg­is­la­tion.

While there was an il­lus­tri­ous panel, the main speaker on the day was Har­rie Schip­pers, pres­i­dent of Daf Trucks. He pointed out that in Europe the truck in­dus­try has al­ready man­aged to re­duce emis­sions by 95% over the past 25 years, par­tic­u­larly since the ad­vent of the Euro V emis­sion stan­dard.

Cru­cially the Euro VI stan­dard that comes into ef­fect in De­cem­ber next year will cut that fig­ure again by about 80%.

For now at least, that will be the end of the Euro­pean leg­is­la­tion on emis­sions and the in­dus­try will again move to pure sel­f­reg­u­la­tion un­der the Vi­sion 2020 plan. This will see truck man­u­fac­tur­ers aim­ing to re­duce fuel con­sump­tion by 20% com­pared to 2005 lev­els.

Schip­pers stressed that gov­ern­ments need to con­sult more on emis­sion leg­is­la­tion. “CO reg­u­la­tions can­not be a one size fits all pol­icy,” he said. Ve­hi­cle, load, trailer, us­age and even ge­o­graphic con­di­tions un­der which a ve­hi­cle op­er­ates all have an ef­fect on the emis­sion fig­ure.

He and many of his col­leagues are push­ing for leg­is­la­tion that is based on con­sump­tion per ton per kilo­me­tre. With fuel ac­count­ing for 30% of run­ning costs, the sec­ond high­est cost to trans­port op­er­a­tors af­ter driv­ers in Europe, Schip­pers ques­tioned why leg­is­la­tion would even be re­quired. Of course, the in­dus­try wants to cut fuel con­sump­tion he said, and if you take a look through some of the ve­hi­cles launched at the IAA and par­tic­u­larly the con­cept plans, you can see the ef­fort that is be­ing made.

There are many ar­gu­ments sur­round­ing this is­sue, but Schip­pers said that a larger truck has a lower car­bon foot­print than mul­ti­ple small trucks as it uses less fuel to carry more goods, some­thing that will im­prove even more as larger trucks be­come more fuel ef­fi­cient.

Here in SA we need to pay more at­ten­tion to what the man­u­fac­tur­ers are say­ing in Europe, af­ter all, many of our trucks come from these com­pa­nies and ac­tu­ally, so does the ba­sis of our leg­is­la­tion. The CO tax in SA is one of the worst thought through pieces of leg­is­la­tion in re­cent years. The fig­ures it is based on are all the fig­ures quoted by man­u­fac­tur­ers for their ve­hi­cles and af­ter tests con­ducted in Europe. The South African Bureau of Stan­dards does not do emis­sion test­ing in SA in or­der to es­tab­lish the CO tax pa­ram­e­ters de­spite the fact that our con­di­tions are dif­fer­ent and our fuel qual­ity is sig­nif­i­cantly worse than what our Euro­pean have.

En­vi­ron­men­tal leg­is­la­tion was the main topic at the press con­fer­ence, but it was also pointed out by Ivan Ho­dac, sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the ACEA, that there is an ur­gent need to ad­dress the is­sue of old trucks on the world’s roads. Granted, this may ap­pear to be a ploy by the man­u­fac­tur­ers to sell new trucks, but even in SA it is clear that if we want im­proved ef­fi­ciency on our roads, im­proved road safety and a bet­ter en­vi­ron­ment, we need to ad­dress this is­sue too.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.