STUTTGART -When the limits imposed by the Euro standards are increasingly tight for decades compared, the level of major technological challenges addressed by truck manufacturers between the introduction of Euro I in October 1993 and Euro VI on December 31, 2013 became clear.
Highly advanced technology has been introduced to comply with the boundaries, bringing gradual improvements in air quality in cities and towns. For example nitrogen oxide, the current NOx limit is determined by the Euro VI standard 95% lower than the limit specified by Euro I. And this has been accompanied by a steadily decreasing fuel consumption – which is not technically meaningful.
Challenge: The Paris Climate Agreement
To also meet the targets set by the Paris Climate Agreement, all countries around the world must reduce their CO2 emissions substantially. Because heavy commercial vehicles generate about 25% of the emissions caused by road traffic, the EU sees the need to revise the law here.
Challenges: reducing commercial heavy-vehicle CO2 emissions is much more complicated than reducing passenger cars because there are many different truck versions for varying transport tasks.
CO2 emissions and fuel consumption are two linear variables when a combustion engine is used. In other words: those who save fuel not only improve their own cost situation, they also do something for the environment.
Despite drastically tightening emission standards for nitrogen oxide and particulate emissions, which can only be complied with technical solutions that initially increase fuel consumption, actual fuel consumption from heavy duty Mercedes-Benz trucks and therefore CO2 emissions have fallen by 22% in the last 22 years according to DEKRA.
The EU Commission decided to develop VECTO in the future enabling a better comparison of actual truck fuel consumption and CO2 emissions and to help achieve the Paris targets.
VECTO stands for “Vehicle Energy Consumption Calculation Tool” and is developed by the Commission along with truck manufacturers and other stakeholders.
VECTO software is a central element in a complex process for determining commercial vehicle CO2 emissions, reporting and monitoring. With this process, the EU Commission initially wanted to create a credible database for commercial vehicle CO2 emissions and for all manufacturers.
Important input data was measured initially as a database for VECTO. Six components have a major influence on fuel consumption: engine, tire rolling resistance, the vehicle itself with aerodynamic drag and weight, transmission, axle and ultimately additional assemblies.
With the exception of additional assemblies, for which standard values will still be used, the values of all the components mentioned will be metrologically determined for VECTO.
VECTO will process all of this data. This tool can calculate CO2 emissions for each configured commercial vehicle and designated application area. This makes it easy for customers to directly compare vehicle models and increase competition between manufacturers, even though the software has limits and can not describe all driving, loading and application situations, for example.
Development of VECTO
VECTO creates greater transparency in the market as a whole. Mercedes-Benz Trucks sees its introduction as an important step towards a sustainable transportation system and supports a holistic approach to CO2 reduction.
Furthermore, those responsible at Mercedes-Benz Trucks demand that VECTO in the future take into account all fuel savings and therefore the CO2 savings approach is now available on Mercedes-Benz trucks.
VECTO does not include the savings achieved in real operations thanks to the use of anticipatory systems such as Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC), for example. The VECTO simulation model therefore needs to be further developed. This is because what is important for transport operators is still real fuel consumption, which is generally lower than VECTO calculations in the case of Mercedes-Benz Trucks.