DAF TRUCKS MD RAY ASHWORTH TALKS TO MARGO COLE ABOUT THE BIG ISSUES AFFECTING THE TRUCK MANUFACTURING SECTOR, INCLUDING EMISSIONS LEGISLATION, AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES AND THE FORTHCOMING EU REFERENDUM.
PHOTOGRAPHY: CRAIG PUSEY
“The issue of emissions is never going to go away. Having got to Euro 6 for trucks, you might think that we’re all off and going, but the reality is not quite that. The next level of requirements is already coming through for truck manufacturers. From 2018, we have to get on the trail of CO2 emissions and notify customers of the CO2 emissions from our vehicles.
“All the stages from Euro 0 to Euro 6 were about reducing particulates and NOx [nitrogen oxides]. We’ve done that – to the extent that what comes out is now cleaner than what goes in. But before we even got to Euro 6, one of the key messages was that we had moved on from particulates and NOx to CO2.
“Car manufacturers already have to report the CO2 emissions levels of their vehicles and from 2018 we – the truck manufacturers – will have to produce the CO2 level for any truck we produce. “
There are complexities in doing that. With a truck, it could be heavy tractor, or it could be a tipper. The CO2 emissions are going to be decided by what you’re hauling, but what goes on the back of truck is quite often not produced by the manufacturer.
“The idea is that we should just do something that starts us off on this trail. So we are being asked for the CO2 emissions level for a standard truck – irrespective of what’s on the back. There is an algorithm that’s been created for all manufacturers to use. We will put in data for the engine, the tyre pressures, size, and so on, and the algorithm will calculate that and come up with a VECTO [vehicle energy consumption calculation tool] value for a standard body. It’s not an actual measure of CO2, but it is a comparator. So you will be able to find out the VECTO value of one of our trucks and you’ll be able to compare that with a truck that has the same specification run by someone else.
“The problem is trying to compare it with something that’s exactly the same. On trucks, it is less of an issue, but as soon as you put a trailer on the back, it’s different. But this is the EU saying we’ve got to start somewhere. And the view is that five or ten years down the road, things will be clearer and we will be able to feature the real value.”