All one- to three-axle semi-trailers will have to be certified along with central axle and turntable trailers. Manufacturers who do not meet the fleet consumption targets will be fined.
The trailers’ CO2 emissions are determined using software specially developed for this purpose and running the European Commission’s simulation program of ‘VECTO (Vehicle Energy Consumption Calculation Tool) for Trailers’.
This calculates the different usable loads and dimensions, but also takes into different bonus factors for example the reduced fuel consumption of up to 4.5 per cent through the use of lifting and steering axles, depending on the driving cycle. The use of lightweight running gear is also rewarded.
Commenting on the new regulations, Bernd Rhein, application engineering manager at axle manufacturer BPW said: “There are still a few unanswered questions before the final design of the certification. More consideration of the benefits of transport would be desirable.
“A high-volume transporter that makes maximum use of the legally permitted dimensions, for example, might get a worse rating than a standard vehicle according to the current plan. Longer vehicle combinations and drawbar trailers with more than three axles are also lacking.
“A little more fine-tuning is needed to realistically reflect the economic factors and climate-friendliness of these vehicles. In principle, we are headed in the right direction.”
Rhein added: “The regulation is a great advantage for innovative vehicle manufacturers and their system partners. It creates more transparency and comparability, where previously the sales price was the main focus. The new trailer certification will be a win-win situation for our environment and for vehicle operators.”