As part of wider efforts to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from road transport, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) is calling for a policy framework that supports an EU-wide high-capacity transport system.

This should allow for larger vehicles — specifically designed to carry twice as much freight as standard trucks — to travel on dedicated parts of the EU road network.

ACEA argues that high-capacity vehicles are more efficient and productive than regular heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), as they can consolidate freight from smaller trucks, consuming less fuel and producing fewer emissions.

Indeed, according to a new ACEA paper High Capacity Transport available at, three high-capacity vehicles can replace six regular trucks, reducing CO2 emissions by up to 27%.

In the EU, high-capacity vehicles are already allowed and used in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, most German federal states, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

According to the ACEA paper, experience from these countries shows positive results with CO₂ reductions confirmed in practice.

Referring to the first-ever CO2 standards for heavy-duty vehicles which the EU recently fixed for the years 2025 and 2030, ACEA Secretary General Erik Jonnaert said: “Truck manufacturers are committed to doing their part to bring down emissions. However, these efficiency standards for new vehicles will not be enough to bring down total CO2 emissions from road transport.”

With demand for freight transport expected to grow substantially over the next decades, ACEA suggests that high-capacity vehicles provide a cost-effective means of coping with this growing demand, keeping carbon emissions in check without having to modify or extend Europe’s existing road infrastructure.

Last reviewed 14 May 2019