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Esterer Participates in Working Group

The EU is working on the assessment basis for the tank vehicle CO₂ emission regulation

The EU has already passed a Regulation governing CO2 emissions for cars and light trucks, and is now focusing on heavy goods vehicles. The EU has decreed that CO2 emission values must be reduced by 15 percent of their 2019 values by  the year 2025 and 30 percent of their 2019 values by 2030. This will help to combat global warming. Anyone who fails to achieve these targets will be liable to a heavy fine: 4,250 euros per g CO2/tkm will be charged for any infringement—for example under the given circumstances an infringement would cost MAN the entire annual profit margin for its fleet. “A reduction by 30 percent is a huge target,” says Managing Director Julia Esterer. “We anticipate that the financial penalties will be passed on to the truck purchasers, which will increase the price of tank vehicles. The product range will be smaller, too.”

The EU Commission is currently creating an assessment basis for a COemission regulation for truck trailers and bodies. As a member of the German Association of the Automotive Industry VDA, Esterer is a member of a working group that is developing suitable practice-oriented solutions for an assessment basis.

Ansgar Nonhoff, Head of Engineering and Development at Esterer and an expert in the working group, says: “Anyone buying a new tanker in future will need to know its CO2 emission figures. Since the beginning of this year, every truck over 16 tons comes with a CIF (Customer Information File) which states the CO2 value.” Since July 2019, this certificate must be produced whenever a vehicle is registered. When the next stage of the procedure starts in January 2020, the law will also apply to trucks under 16t and vehicles with wheel formulas 6x4 and 8x4. The current requirements permit the determination of CO2 emission values with standard bodies and trailers.

Focus on actual COemissions

However, this method of determining CO2 values will not be sufficiently accurate in future. ”Ultimately, the real CO2 emission level depends on the exact version of the vehicle body or trailer,” says Ansgar Nonhoff. “There is no standard—every concrete, individual version must be considered.” The EU is relying on expert knowledge in order to design suitable procedures: The European trade association CLCCR (International Association of the Body and Trailer Building Industry) has already put forward proposals for a simple process for the calculation of the CO2 emissions of concrete versions of trailers. To date, there has been no indication as to whether the proposals have been accepted.

A precise, practicable solution

The second stage requires the data related to real vehicle bodies to be inserted into the CO2 emission calculation formula. To this end, a new working group consisting of European trade associations and around 20 companies—including Esterer—has been formed. Its task is to develop proposals for submission to the EU Commission. “The same principle applies to bodies and trailers: The solution must be not only practicable, but also offer an appropriate degree of accuracy in the determination of CO2 values,” says Ansgar Nonhoff. “Is the effort required to collect the data proportionate to the accuracy of the emission values? This is an important issue when considering proposals. In the case of delivery vehicles, for example, which only travel at low speeds, it is sensible to define standard values—which will save effort and costs.”

Appropriate flat-rate taxation

It can be assumed that the future vehicle tax for trucks will also be defined on the basis of emission values. However, there is no indication as to how special bodies—which are not considered separately—will be treated.   “Disproportionately high taxation of this vehicle category, which could also include tankers, must be averted at all costs,” says Ansgar Nonhoff. “A practice-oriented solution is essential here, too!” Julia Esterer adds: “It is clear that we occupy a niche—which is why tank bodies should be recognized as special vehicles and not be considered separately. It is important to ensure that the flat taxation rate is not set too high.”  

In conclusion, Managing Director Julia Esterer says: “Although the EU has defined its objectives, it is still absolutely unclear what our customers and our company can expect in future.” She adds: “It is important for us to participate proactively, which will enable us to influence the process as far as it is possible to do so, and react quickly to new legislation from Brussels!”

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