High-capacity vehicles are more efficient and productive than regular heavy-goods vehicles as they can consolidate freight from smaller trucks, consuming less fuel and producing less emissions per unit of cargo transported. They are a cost-effective solution to reduce emissions from road freight, also making more efficient use of existing infrastructure.
According to this new paper, experience from countries already using high-capacity vehicles shows positive results, and CO2 reductions have been confirmed in practice. In the European Union, high-capacity vehicles are already allowed and used in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, most German federal states, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.
In order to allow for the introduction of high-capacity vehicles (HCVs) across the entire European Union, policy makers should ensure that:
- The restrictive interpretations of EU legislation regarding cross-border use of EMS combinations are abandoned.
- The European Commission applies harmonised EU requirements for HCVs.
- Future EU regulations on HCT are based on PBS for both vehicles and road infrastructure. In addition, it should be considered to use EU-funded research projects to address this.
- The wider introduction of EMS combinations is supported by promoting trials, pilot programmes and research.
- The revision of the 2011 white paper on transport policy is used as an opportunity to facilitate the introduction of a High Capacity Transport system in the EU.