Two-thirds of new HGVs will come into scope of a European-wide tool for calculating fuel consumption and carbon emissions from January of next year

VECTO (Vehicle Energy Consumption Calculation Tool) has been brought in by the European Commission (EC) as a way to assess trucks’ environmental performance. It is intended to enable hauliers to compare the fuel efficiency and carbon emissions of competing manufacturers’ new trucks.

Initially VECTO will begin monitoring four categories of trucks. These include 4x3 rigid and tractor units greater than 16 tonnes, and 6x2 rigids and tractors at all weights. All other truck categories above 7.5 tonnes will follow suit by the beginning of 2020.

The EC will use the tool as a measurement device to support its CO2 reduction targets. These require truck manufacturers to reduce CO2 emissions from new vehicles from a January 2019 baseline by 15% by 2025 and 30% by 2030 (although this latter target is to be reviewed in 2022 to take into account new technology).

The calculations take into account five different drive cycles, such as long-haul and urban routes, as well as three different standard trailer types and load scenarios.

ACEA, the European Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), said it welcomed the EC’s two-step approach for CO2 targets and the fact it would set its baseline in 2019 after VECTO’s rollout.

However, it warned the 2030 30% CO2 reduction target was “far too aggressive” and did not take into account the needs of the truck market or the short lead time given that HGVs to be sold in 2025 are already being developed today.

“It would seem as though the commission has simply taken the exact CO2 reduction levels it already proposed for cars and vans, and applied them directly to heavy-duty vehicles, without fully recognising the fundamental differences between these vehicle segments,” said ACEA secretary general Erik Jonnaert.