VECTO regulation: a gap between aspiration and application?

Navigating the dynamic changes VECTO brings to the fleet operator landscape, this article sheds light on the European Union's push to cut down CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles. We delve into the on-the-ground implications for fleet operators, and express concerns about the introduced VECTO regulations for trailers. We are advocating for a thorough reassessment of this legislation, ensuring it aligns effectively with the reality of our industry.

What is VECTO

The European Union’s Vehicle Energy Consumption Calculation Tool (VECTO) is a standardized framework designed for measuring fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of heavy-duty vehicles like trucks and buses. It uses a simulation-based approach to consider various factors such as vehicle configuration and driving conditions, making it applicable to different vehicle categories. This tool is crucial for manufacturers to comply with EU regulations on CO2 emissions and helps in providing transparent, consistent data. VECTO's standardized measurements are essential not only for regulatory compliance but also for enabling informed decision-making by fleet operators and buyers.

“VECTO is aiming for an initial reduction of CO2 emissions by 15% in 2025 against 2019, and I know that manufacturers are well on their way to achieving this,” says Diederick van Haselen, TIP Group’s Global Equipment Director.  “This will lead to a reduced carbon footprint of our industry and will help fleet operators further reduce the CO2 emissions of their fleet.”

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Impact on truck manufacturers

VECTO significantly impacts truck manufacturers in the EU by mandating standardized reporting of CO2 emissions and fuel efficiency. This is expected to drive innovation in vehicle design aimed at improving environmental performance. Manufacturers will increase their R&D investment, focusing on advanced technologies and fuel-saving strategies.

Additionally, this further emphasizes the market trends that favour sustainability, which in turn influences their competitive positioning. The transparency and comparability brought by VECTO will potentially steer the market towards more eco-friendly vehicles, albeit with added compliance and development costs for manufacturers. Trailer manufacturers should take note, similar regulation concerning trailers is currently being drafted by the EU.

Concerns about VECTO regulations for Trailers

The European Commission is also working on CO2 legislation for trailers. The current legislation would take effect in 5 years, but the implications give TIP Group cause for concern. Van Haselen explains:

“The VECTO legislation that will take effect in 5 years requires manufacturers to also realize a 15% reduction in CO2 emissions for trailers. However, since trailers don’t have any direct CO2 emissions [from any sort of drivetrain], the full reduction can only be realized by drastically altering practically every aspect of the trailer. This would drastically increase the price of new trailers, and even then, we are sceptical that the necessary reduction can be achieved.”

The European Transport Board, of which TIP Group is a leading member, has shared a statement to urge legislators to make changes to the legislation based on the concerns raised by the market.

Impact on Fleet Operators

VECTO will have a direct impact on fleet operators and truck owners in several ways:

  1. Purchasing Decisions – Fleet operators can make more informed decisions when purchasing vehicles. The standardized and transparent data on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions allows them to compare different models more accurately in terms of both environmental impact and operating costs.
  2. Operating costs - Since VECTO encourages the development of more fuel-efficient vehicles, it can lead to lower fuel costs for fleet operators. Over time, this could significantly reduce the total cost of ownership for trucks.
  3. Environmental Compliance - Fleet operators may face increased pressure from the public or regulators to have a more eco-friendly fleet. VECTO data will help them demonstrate the effects of their efforts.
  4. Availability of environmentally friendly vehicles – In response to VECTO, manufacturers may expand their range of environmentally friendly options, directly influencing fleet composition.
  5. Resale Value - The focus on emissions and fuel efficiency might also impact the resale value of trucks. More efficient vehicles, with better VECTO ratings, could hold their value better over time.
  6. Planning and Strategy - For long-term planning, fleet operators can use VECTO data to strategize their fleet renewal and expansion, ensuring that their choices align with both economic and environmental goals.

More information

Would you like to know more about the implications of VECTO for your fleet? Contact us or reach out to your local TIP representative to arrange an appointment.