Operators will not see longer, more aerodynamic truck cabs for at least another seven years after the European Parliament and EU countries last month agreed to prevent the introduction of such cabs until 2022.

The European Commission’s original proposals envisaged longer, shapelier cabs giving better crash performance, fuel-saving aerodynamics and more room for the driver and new technology could be available in 2017-18. But ACEA, the European vehicle manufacturers’ trade association, fought to ban their introduction until 2025.

Cabs have a design life of 15 to 20 years, so ACEA wanted to protect interests of its members such as Volvo, Mercedes-Benz and Renault Trucks, which have only recently invested large sums in new cab designs.

Proposed technical regulations for the new cabs, which could be up to 800mm longer, will be published in 2016 and finalised in 2019, followed by a three-year moratorium that prevents introduction of the first examples until 2022, at the earliest.

ACEA claimed that the three-year development time is challenging, but Brussels-based pressure group Transport & Environment (T&E), which wanted swifter introduction whenever a manufacturer was ready, criticised manufacturers for dragging their heels.

“Few other industries would do what the lorry industry has done: lobby hard to keep a ban on a better product for as long as possible,” said T&E senior policy officer William Todts. “This is the same industry the commission recently started investigating for price fixing. The commission needs to do much more to inject real competition in this sector.”