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Delivering the goods: making lorries smarter, greener, cleaner

On 19 June 2012 The Danish Presidency and NGO Transport § Environment cohosted an afternoon conference to identify solutions to the environmental and safety impacts of road freight.

The programme examined technical solutions for smarter and safer lorries and map a way forward for EU legislators to encourage smarter road freight.  

The issue

Three quarters of freight in the EU are carried by road lorries. Lorries account for 3 per cent of vehicles, but a quarter of all transport emissions. Lorries are also involved in a disproportionate number of fatal accidents.

Keir Fitch from the European Commission explained the state of play and looked forward to future changes to the existing legal EU framework (for which two DG’s ENTR and MOVE work closely together).

According to a representative of DEKRA the hauliers industry faces a number of issues (social, economic, infratructure) but no one can ignore the fact that today society needs road freight traffic (although paradoxically a lot of people seem to be against trucks).

We have to be aware of the simple fact that “every product we use, consume, manipulate is transported by a truck.”

Jos Dings of T§E said that more transport does not automatically bring economic prosperity (he compared the situation in Transport dependent countries like Spain and Portugal with Finland and Germany where transport demand decreased. Biodiesel doesn’t seem the solution for the growing diesel problem. New trucks should be made more technically sustainable (aerodynamic) and he referred to a study by FKA who presented their findings during the same conference.

Other participants focused on the technical improvements which could be made to make lorries indeed cleaner, safer and smarter.


Summary of research carried out for t&e by fKa automotive research, ‘Design of a tractor for optimised safety and fuel consumption’

EAA presents study on Aluminium for Safer Trucks together with Transport & Environment (T&E)

Library summary: Commission plans to cut vehicle noise by 25% / Geert Plas(internal link)

Key issue (thematic dossier) : Giga-liners and other mega-trucks (blog post) / Geert Plas

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