The ongoing European Commission initiative to develop new standards for safe and secure truck parking areas in Europe is highly relevant to ensure safe and good resting conditions for European truck drivers but does not meet future low carbon transport needs, say vehicle makers.
Welcoming the trucking initiative, ACEA said that in the context of the European Green Deal and given the urgency to decarbonise the road transport sector to reach climate neutrality in 2050, it did not go far enough to support HGEVs and hydrogen powered lorries coming to market.
It has looked at the current and planned low carbon infrastructure and concluded 500 gas refuelling stations and nearly 100,000 HGEV and CEV charging points will need over the next decade.
Some 30 members of ACEA have signed a letter to the EC expressing their concerns and suggesting how the truck stops could be future proofed now to prevent more expense in years ahead while making significant reductions in emissions and improving drivers’ conditions.
Specifically, they say the standards presented in the study of the European Commission in May 2019 ignore the current needs of refrigerated trailers and the future needs of zero-emission trucks are not taken into account.
“To decarbonize the road freight sector and drastically reduce air pollution, trucks will have to be electrified, either by the means of batteries or hydrogen fuel cells. Therefore, charging and refueling infrastructure will have to be developed along the motorways. Already today, the first steps can be taken to facilitate the future deployment of charging and refueling infrastructure on parking areas and reduce costs,” say ACEA.
“Indeed, requesting the map of existing electricity grid capacity, when parking facilities are built or renovated, will optimise the choice of the location of new parking areas and enable better planning of future needs, whil avoiding delays and unexpected costs in the future. This will therefore make these parking areas future-proof.”
They want all truck parking areas to be equipped to hook up refrigerated trailers to a 400V network and this will demand a new network of higher capacity than many locations now use, or the vehicles will still need to use their diesel engines as generators when the vehicle is parked and the driver resting in accordance with driving hours regulations.
The UK Government yesterday published its plan to spend hundreds of millions of pounds on improving logistics for meeting HM Customs requirements at ports or convenient places close to them after the end of this year when Brexit takes place and there are concerns these will not be future-proofed either and will simply be enormous tarmac spaces without HGEV or hydrogen refuelling points.