Longer Heavy Good Vehicles in Germany – "EcoCombis" or "climate Killers"?



Longer Heavy Good Vehicles in Germany – "EcoCombis" or "climate Killers"?

Authors

Alexander Labinsky, Prognos AG, Dr. Theresa Gutberlet, Prognos AG, Hans-Paul Kienzler, Prognos AG

Description

In this paper, we present the impact of longer HGV on transport performance and CO2-emissions from freight transport. In addition to a quantitative analysis, the paper presents the factors that favor or hinder the use of long HGV in Germany.

Abstract

Since January 1st, 2017, the use of longer heavy goods vehicles (HGV) is allowed in national freight transport on certain roads in Germany. The decision was made based on a field test of the potential risks of longer HGV operation monitored by the Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt). This study was mainly focused on safety concerns and less so on environmental impacts. To gain additional insight on the policy’s climate effects, the state government of Baden-Württemberg and Daimler AG asked Prognos AG and thinkstep to investigate how longer HGV change the CO2-emissions from freight transport in Germany.

In this paper, we present the impact of longer HGV on transport performance and CO2-emissions from road and rail freight transport under the conditions of the field test and for a future scenario. In addition to the quantitative analysis, the paper also presents a discussion of the factors that favor or hinder the use of long HGV in road freight transport in Germany.

Our methodology draws on several very different sources. Expert interviews with carriers, shippers and forwarders were vital in identifying the constraints for the use of longer HGV in road freight transport operations. Based on these interviews, we were able to define the potential demand for longer HGV in Germany by analyzing NST2007 goods classifications and by developing regional demand coefficients at the NUTS 3 level.

Following a cross price elasticity approach, we estimated the intramodal (from conventional HGV) and intermodal (from rail) shift that can be expected from the new policy under the different scenarios. The data base for affected transport volumes are the demand matrices of the 2030 Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan. Our transport cost calculations take into account detours caused by the restrictions for long HGV use in Germany.

The modal shift results served as input for the calculation of greenhouse gas emissions in freight transport in Germany with and without longer HGV. The calculation is based on fuel consumption functions established by analyzing theoretical and operational values obtained from both conventional and longer HGV operators, relevant vehicle parameters as well as specific power supply sources. The results give a detailed look on the climate impact that can be expected from longer HGV operations in Germany.

Publisher

Association for European Transport