The European automobile manufacturer’s association ACEA has issued a positional paper calling for an increase in the weight and length allowances for zero emission trucks to assist the industry in its journey to decarbonisation. The move comes as the European Commission is expected to release details of the plans to revise Council Directive 96/53/EC on the maximim weights and dimensions of heavy-duty vehicle in Europe in Q1 2023. 


”Zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), namely battery-electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles, will have to become the backbone of road transport if the sector is to reach its decarbonisation targets,” says the paper. ”These new powertrain technologies come with additional requirements with respect to available space in the vehicles, total vehicle weight and axle weights.”

ACEA is calling for zero-emission vehicles to be given weight, axle load and overall length concessions in order to remove the barriers that may hinder vehicle uptake and “place them on a level playing field”. Specifically, the paper requests zero emissions trucks should be given an additional weight allowance (already at two tonnes) taking the weight allowance up to four tonnes, while the axle load of driven axle and driven axle combinations should be increased by at least 500kg, ideally one tonne. On dimensions, ACEA is calling for an additional 1.5m of additional length: “New powertrain technologies require more space (eg for batteries and tanks) than is currently provided for under the Weights & Dimensions Directive,” says the report. ”ThereforeACEA requests that all zero-emission vehicles (categoryN) are granted additional length of up to 1.5m.”

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