UETR welcomes the revision of the Directive 96/53/EC on the maximum weights and dimensions of heavy-duty vehicles allowing longer and heavier vehicles and progressing the European Modular Systems (“EMS”) in international road freight transport.
This initiative provides an opportunity to deliver environmental sustainability with more efficiency, higher capacity, increased productivity, and a way to mitigate the growing labour shortages in the sector.
As zero-emission or hybrid vehicle technology brings additional weight to the vehicles, UETR welcomes the proposal approach to increase the payload.
This new action facilitates the rolling out of green vehicles in the EU. A holistic approach is required, from robust scrappage schemes to the effective deployment of the alternative fuels infrastructure and widespread measures to address high energy prices.
UETR believes that any new framework needs to facilitate the allowance of 44 tons for any vehicle in the long term, independently of the source of energy used – being the energy mix and technology neutrality the best approach to deliver decarbonization.
UETR welcomes the clarity of rules provided and stresses the importance of the EU to legally allow cross-border traffic of 44-tons combinations through a wide and uniform system all over the EU MS for a level playing field in the sector. There are still infrastructural challenges to be overcome and this will require effort from EU and national authorities. Earmarking of revenues from e. g. Eurovignette or ETS 2 will be key.
A level playing field will avoid hauliers to deal with different operational environments and might also encourage greater investment in a more efficient manner by SMEs, provided they have the certainty that heavier and longer vehicles they purchase can carry out transport activities in the EU territory.