That’s the conclusion of a report by sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E), which highlights the potential benefit – and low take-up – of vehicle innovations, some of which have been in existence for many years.
For example, it says, turbocompounding delivers a 3% fuel saving but is only being installed in 0.24% of European trucks – despite having being on the market for 15 years.
In addition, low-resistance tyres – which can be retrofitted to existing as well as new trucks – cut fuel consumption by 7% but have a very low market penetration of only 1%, according to the T&E report which is based on data from the International Council on Clean Transportation (to see the data, click the link below).
Meanwhile, hauliers spend on average €32,000 a year per truck on fuel.
Stef Cornelis, safer and cleaner trucks officer at T&E, says: “It’s a classic case of market failure. Technologies that have been on the market for more than five years on average are only being deployed in around 15% of new trucks. Given the value of the savings on offer, it is a shame to see so much innovation left on the shelf.”
Truck manufacturers only sell many of these technologies as expensive optional extras, leaving hauliers unable to meet the cost upfront, the report finds. Also, the sharing of trailers means a haulier may not always reap the benefit of fuel-saving innovations used on trailers.
Cornelis adds: “EU-wide truck fuel standards will help crack this market failure. Today, truck fuel standards are already in place in North America, China and Japan, where they increasingly ensure that such mature fuel-saving technologies are deployed on new trucks.”
Early next year, the European Commission is due to publish its proposed European truck fuel-efficiency standards.