Last reviewed 11 February 2021

Arguing that simple and cost-effective measures could cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by more than 13 billion tonnes between now and 2050, the International Road Transport Union (IRU) has renewed calls to promote the use of Eco-trucks.

With harmonised rules for cross-border operations, it suggests, this would be a real boost to transport decarbonisation.

The IRU points out that two Eco-trucks carry the cargo of three standard heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), instantly cutting the number of such vehicles on the road.

Furthermore, fuel consumption per tkm (tonne-kilometre) is reduced by up to 35%, considerably improving the environmental and economic efficiency of goods road transport.

Replacing just 30% of the global truck fleet involved in regional and long haul operations with Eco-trucks would immediately cut CO2 emissions by 237 million tonnes annually.

With goods road transport set to triple by 2050, this increases to 700 million tonnes annually by 2050, the IRU calculates.

Eco-trucks have been operated in 18 countries so far, including Australia, Argentina, China, Mexico, South Africa, the United States and some EU countries — in all cases successfully.

However, their use worldwide remains hampered by a lack of harmonised regulations and hence cross-border operations with Eco-trucks remain rare.

Full details of the IRU’s position on the use of Eco-trucks can be found — here

IRU Secretary General Umberto de Pretto said: “The clue is in the name — Eco-trucks are ecological and economic. Governments are missing an opportunity to accelerate decarbonisation and support economic growth. The time to act is now.”