Brussels, 5 December 2013 – Europe’s commercial vehicle manufacturers today emphasised the importance of innovation to an industry that is making huge strides in the safety and fuel-efficiency of its vehicles. Cooperation on innovation today will deliver the truck of the future tomorrow.
The assertion came during a keynote address by Wolfgang Bernhard, CEO of Daimler Trucks and Chairman of the Commercial Vehicle Board of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA). Mr Bernhard was speaking at ACEA’s annual transport policy event in Brussels.
Europe’s automobile manufacturers invest €36 billion in research annually. Thanks to this, the commercial vehicle industry has made particular effort to reach certain milestones, such as the Euro VI emissions standards and the installation of life-saving technologies.
Dr Bernhard focused on safety saying, “the technological progress in safety is impressive. It’s a real success story of joint efforts of EU policy makers and our industry. While transport performance has grown by 15% since 2000, the number of truck accidents with fatalities has decreased by 60%.”
On commercial vehicle CO2 and fuel efficiency, Dr Bernhard said, “trucks and vans are amongst the cleanest and most efficient modes of transportation, especially here in Europe. Taking payload and average fuel consumption into account, we have the lowest CO2 emissions of all major regions.”
The ACEA event, now in its tenth year, explored the theme of The Truck of the Future: Innovative, Fuel-Efficient, Safe, and also featured a display of the latest truck tractor models from each of the association’s members.
Dr Bernhard established the clear business case for advanced, innovative, clean and safe commercial vehicles, saying, “Let’s give our customers the full transparency on fuel efficiency, and let them decide. The most successful products will be the best for the environment, the economy, and the customer.”
Dr Bernhard’s speech was followed by a debate where a number of key stakeholders from policy making, business and vehicle manufacturing gave their views on the progress made towards making Europe’s vans, trucks and buses cleaner, safer and more efficient.
Also speaking at the event were Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, and Olga Sehnalová, MEP.