Aerodynamically designed trucks can reduce airborne emissions and improve efficiency. Therefore the European Union (EU) Council is fast-tracking legislation that will allow for longer trucks on European roads.
The Permanent Representatives Committee of the EU Council met on 30 January and agreed to begin negotiations with the European Parliament to amend the directive governing the overall length of trucks, which will allow for lorries with longer and more rounded cabs, making them more aerodynamically efficient.
According to an EU statement, “Rounded, aerodynamic lorry cabs provide drivers with improved comfort and visibility, leading to an increase in road safety for lorry drivers and other road users. Due to current EU restrictions on the length of goods vehicles, fleet operators planning to introduce aerodynamic cabs must reduce the amount of space allotted to cargo to compensate.”
Cabs that are more aerodynamically shaped have been in use for many years in the United States, but the EU has only now decided that these changes need to be made and wants to bring the changes into force as swiftly as possible.
The EU said, “The amendment acknowledges changes in the needs of the market and developments in transport technology; and emphasises that the European Commission should allow the derogation [exemption] of current length restrictions to come into effect as soon as possible.”
Rovana Plumb, Romania’s acting Minister for Transport and President of the Council, said: “Bringing [the amendment’s] introduction forward is a very targeted and welcome amendment to the current rules.”