VECTO: Transparency on trucks’ fuel consumption and CO₂ emissions

When customers purchase a newly produced truck of a certain class since January 1, 2019, they not only receive the keys and vehicle documents for the vehicle, but also a certificate with information on fuel consumption and carbon-dioxide emissions.

In practice, however, Daimler Trucks always communicates these values when customers receive an offer on a vehicle. After all, truck buyers have always been very interested in their vehicles being fuel efficient, because that has a positive effect on their total cost of ownership (TCO). This goes hand in hand with lower CO₂ emissions.

The figures are calculated using the digital simulation tool VECTO (Vehicle Energy Consumption Calculation Tool) – individually for each truck configuration.

Uniform test and measuring procedure

The EU Commission has developed the software, including uniform test and measurement procedures, together with manufacturers, scientists and other experts. For the first time, truck customers in the EU are now able to objectively compare the fuel consumption and CO₂ emissions of vehicles from different suppliers.

Daimler Trucks expressly welcomes the new regulations for measuring the fuel consumption and CO₂ emissions of heavy commercial vehicles. VECTO is an important prerequisite for an even more sustainable transport system and better market transparency. Daimler Trucks shares the EU’s goal of using VECTO to create transparency on ever lower fuel consumption and further reductions in CO₂ emissions. Customers and the environment will benefit equally from it in the long run.

Reductions in fuel consumption and CO₂ emissions at Daimler Trucks

Daimler Trucks has always been committed to reducing fuel consumption and CO₂ emissions. According to Dekra, the actual fuel consumption of heavy-duty Mercedes-Benz trucks and thus also their CO₂ emissions were reduced by 22 percent between 1996 and 2016 alone – despite drastically stricter emission standards. And the fuel consumption of the new Mercedes-Benz Actros, which was presented in September 2018, is once again lower than that of its predecessor, achieving savings of up to three percent on highways and actually up to five percent on country roads. Additionally, Daimler Trucks’ range includes low-emission gaseous fuel engines. These offer about one fourth lower CO₂ emissions and almost CO₂ neutral operation when biomethane is used. Daimler Trucks is leading in battery-electric trucks and has electric trucks in customer use in all segments already today.

New targets based on VECTO by the EU

As of the reference period 2019/2020, the VECTO data will form the reference value for the EU CO₂-reduction targets. More information can be found here.

Good to know about VECTO

By January 1, 2019, the legal stipulations will already affect a significant proportion of the trucks manufactured in the EU: two-axle and three-axle semi-trailer and flatbed chassis for long-distance and regional transport, i.e. truck classes 4, 5, 9 and 10 (trucks over 16 tons). At the beginning of 2020, the EU regulation will also include light delivery vehicles over 7.5 tons. According to experts, vehicles in the 5 to 7.5 ton weight class and buses are also expected to follow a little later.

The first step is that manufacturers must generate the required input data for the VECTO calculations on factors affecting fuel consumption, according to strict instructions and supported by external testing organizations. For example, the drag coefficient (wind resistance) of different cab variants of a truck model is measured. In addition, the different fuel consumption and thus CO₂ emissions depending on the engine, transmission or axle variants must also be determined for VECTO. The resulting input data, as confirmed by independent testing organizations, is then fed into the VECTO simulation. This then calculates the corresponding fuel consumption and CO₂ emissions for specific truck configurations required by manufacturers for their customers, taking driving cycles into account.

  • Not all driving, loading and operating situations are considered
    The VECTO figures are simulated with a standard transport order, standard route profile and standard body (box truck). Not all driving, loading and operational situations can be simulated. Depending on the type of operation (long-distance traffic, city deliveries or off-road construction site), vehicle weight and load or route profile, trucks sometimes consume quite different amounts of fuel. Neither does VECTO take into account special vehicle variants such as open dump trucks, which sometimes also consume quite different amounts of fuel than trucks with the standard body. Real values can therefore deviate from those calculated with VECTO.
  • Numerous fuel-reducing systems are not considered in VECTO
    The current version of the VECTO software does not yet or only generalized take into account some systems that have further positive effects on fuel consumption and thus on CO₂ emissions in real operations with customers. They include predictive cruise control, improvements to trailers and/or bodywork, start-stop functions and efficient route planning. Furthermore, bodies and trailers are currently only included using a standard configuration. Daimler therefore aims to ensure that VECTO takes into account all fuel-saving and thus CO₂-reducing methods that are already available today. Due to these weaknesses of VECTO, professional customer advice on vehicle efficiency will continue to play a key role for Daimler in the future.

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