Vehicle emissions

Efficiency and environmental impact are the two most pressing issues to challenge the road haulage industry in many decades.

Although road haulage has a core culture of safe, fuel-efficient driving, which is helping to limit emissions of CO2 and pollutants and keep costs down, more can still be done.

Euro 6 for trucks – what is it?

Euro 6 became mandatory in 2014 and is the most demanding EU standard to date on the reduction of emissions from commercial vehicles. As compared with Euro 5, test cycle particulate emissions are reduced by 66% and nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx) by 80%.

What does Euro 6 specifically regulate?

Euro 6 introduces a new test method for measuring polluting emissions. Manufacturers must certify that the exhaust gas limits of their commercial vehicles are complied with for at least 700,000 km or seven years.

What are the benefits of Euro 6?

Euro 6 vehicles are getting close to pollution-free, therefore very environmentally friendly. Strong indications from members are that Euro 6 trucks are generally slightly better on fuel economy (and therefore CO2). This is contrary to the prevailing view before the trucks appeared (although the RHA never shared in that pessimism).

It is generally accepted that the pollution performance of Euro 6 heavy diesels, i.e. trucks and buses, is in line with the intention of the EU test cycle, both on motorways and in congested cities. Unlike some earlier Euro standards, Euro 6 really is delivering when it comes to trucks.

What are the disadvantages with operating Euro 6 vehicles?

A significant downside is the higher purchase price for Euro 6 trucks which adds to hauliers’ investment costs.

Government policy on CO2

The RHA has noted the government has committed an additional approx. £25 million in recent years to promoting CO2 reduction in road haulage. This has been committed almost entirely to the use of methane as a truck fuel. The RHA has advised from the start that this is not money well spent and has urged that funding be made available to accelerate the use of telematics and further improvement of management of the UK haulage fleet.

We believe this can be done for a small fraction of that spent promoting methane. We have also highlighted to government in early 2015 that this may be an appropriate time to introduce a scrappage scheme to accelerate investment in Euro 6 trucks, given that they have demonstrated the benefits in both air quality and carbon.

Further information

For further information, please contact Ray Engley on 01932 838914 or email at: r.engley@rha.uk.net