HANOVER, Germany, Sept 23 (Reuters) - European truckmakers pledged on Tuesday to reduce fuel consumption by 2020 in line with a European Union objective, but called on legislators not to oppose the industry's own attempts to cut emissions.
"The commercial vehicles industry has united behind the 'Vision 20-20': We will further decrease the consumption of modern trucks by on average 20 percent per tonne/kilometer by the year 2020,"Trucks chief Andreas Renschler said.
Speaking as commercial vehicles head of Brussels-based industry association ACEA, theexecutive said he appreciated an offer from the European Commission to discuss future regulations in a fair and cooperative manner.
"However, last month the Commission started an initiative to regulate emission limits for vans and minibuses that stands in contrast to this commitment," he said.
"We need the governments as allies, not opponents of the commercial vehicle industry."
Renschler called the Commission's proposal inappropriate and counterproductive since it blurred the distinctions between individual mobility provided by passenger cars and the services transporters and delivery vans provide by moving freight.
"It disregards the fact that a single (Mercedes-Benz) Sprinter-class vehicle offers the loading volume of six small vans but with only a third of the CO2 emissions of these six vans," he said.
He also appealed to governments in Europe, the United States and Japan to agree on harmonised emission regulations, test cycles and fuels in order to assist truckmakers in addressing the carbon dioxide issue with advanced technologies.
"For our industry, that (lack of harmonisation) usually means that everything takes significantly longer and may cost three times the money. The result is that the impact of environmentally friendly technologies is not what it could or should be," Renschler added.
European truckmakers support an integrated approach that would shift some responsibility onto the oil industry, hauliers, truck operators and even the drivers, since the way a truck is driven can reduce fuel consumption by 10 percent on its own.
Renschler said the truck industry remains the backbone of the global economy, carrying nearly 80 percent of freight in industrialised countries and directly employing 250,000 people in Europe alone. (Reporting by Christiaan Hetzner; Editing by Quentin Bryar)