Gigaliner trucks receive approval from the EU Parliament

In the future, longer and heavier trucks will be on the roads. The EU Parliament voted in favor of this last month. This involved a new law that deals with cross-border truck traffic, among other things. The aim is to standardize traffic regulations and allow heavier trucks. The member states are to be called upon to join in and adopt the international traffic regulations. In addition, companies should be encouraged to switch to low-emission vehicles in the future.

The discussion focused on the weight and dimensions of the vehicles.

The current differences between Member States in terms of the maximum size of lorries allowed on their roads lead to major additional costs. A load that fits into a truck in one Member State has to be split between several trucks in order to cross another Member State. This results in far more greenhouse gas emissions. This is to be improved by the corresponding directive. The original aim was to facilitate the introduction of e-trucks. To this end, the maximum permissible values were to be amended so that e-trucks could be fitted with batteries without affecting their freight capacity. The proposal is now that all trucks, regardless of fuel, are allowed to cross all borders with a weight of 44 tons. The extra weight is needed to compensate for the batteries, while diesel trucks simply increase their load capacity. Such a disadvantage for electric transport should be avoided at all costs.

It could be that road transport powered by fossil fuels is promoted and made more competitive. Heavier and larger trucks are bad for road safety, infrastructure and the decarbonization of road transport. Allowing such trucks could therefore lead to a deterioration in road conditions and promote an increase in emissions. However, this increased value will only apply to e-trucks from 2035. Gigaliners are now trucks weighing over 60 tons that are currently registered on the roads of some member states. However, many voices are against this and see no added value in it. However, a holistic approach is required for a successful ecological transition. The Association of Road Haulage Companies believes that the new legal framework must facilitate the registration of 44 tons for every vehicle in the long term, regardless of the energy source used.

Another problem is the possible negative impact on freight traffic.

The increase in truck dimensions could put cross-border traffic at a disadvantage for the rail industry. Its introduction could further hamper efforts to promote intermodality and, in fact, risks a reverse modal shift to the road. The European Transport Safety Council also expressed concerns about increasing road freight capacity at the expense of the rail industry. The EU member states still have to agree on a common position on the draft law in the Council before negotiations between the Commission, Council and Parliament take place in the next legislative period. A compromise must be found for the rail industry and truck traffic. Neither electric transport must be impaired by combustion engines nor the rail industry by the increase in truck traffic.



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