Goodyear & Dunlop symposium


Goodyear Dunlop organized on January 25th a symposium on ‘Driving Efficiency in Europe’s Road Freight Sector’. 170 of the continent’s top commercial fleet representatives, industry leaders and transportation policy makers attend a one-day symposium in Brussels designed to open a wider debate on increased demand for more fuel efficiency from Euro’s road freight sector. The symposium was built on a newly introduced report called “Driving fleet fuel efficiency: The Road to 2020“. The report predicts how fleets will cope with cutting CO2 and increasing fuel efficiency in an era of rising fuel costs and environmental legislation.

The report can be downloaded from the site that also provides a fuel calculator enabling fleet managers to make the right investment decisions and cut their fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
PART was represented by Gandert Van Raemdonck who gave a presentation in workshop 3: best practice in reducing fuel consumption, about his research of trailer aerodynamics and the obtained results.

TNT Express tests EcoTail provided by Ephicas ATDynamics partnership


Trailer with aerodynamic tail reduces fuel consumption by 6%
January 19, 2012, TNT Express successfully tested an aerodynamic tail called “EcoTail” on the trailer of one of its trucks, which reduced fuel consumption by 6 percent. Designed by the Dutch company Ephicas together with ATDynamics (USA), EcoTail is a foldable and retractable rear wing attached at the end of the trailer. The five-month trial measured both fuel savings and the usability of the EcoTail by the driver whilst on the road. Over this five month period, a truck with EcoTail travelled daily between Ede and Duiven.

Over 6% saving
Trucks simply guzzle fuel because of their non-efficient aerodynamics.
Ephicas creates innovative solutions for trailers, which contribute to fuel savings and a better environment. The operational tests showed 1.65 litre of fuel was saved per 100 km, on a routing over the highway.
Furthermore, the operational functionality of the EcoTail was tested.
The EcoTail did not pose the driver any problems nor caused it any delay while docking, loading or delivering. A simple adjustment to the door hinges prevents that the doors, which become slightly heavier, suddenly open quite abruptly.
Irma Blanke, Director Operations & Services TNT Express Benelux:
“Savings on the fuel cost is an interesting business case, but also helps us to reach our goal of decreasing the CO2 emissions of our operations.”

Not yet on the road
Ephicas had to request permission from the ‘Dienst Wegverkeer’ (RDW) to be able to run the TNT Express pilot, since in The Netherlands the maximum length of a truck is legally regulated. A truck with trailer can be no longer than 16.5 m, for instance. The EcoTail however sticks out almost 1.5 m and surpasses the maximum length. After safety tests proved that road users were not in danger, the RDW allowed a temporary exemption, also since these tests comply with the Transport White Paper targets to reduce CO2 emissions by 60%. Gandert Van Raemdonck of Ephicas explains about the EcoTail use on the road: “We are very happy with the tests and the collaboration with the RDW and TNT Express. During the operational tests, the driver was not hindered at all, nor delayed because of the EcoTail. The results prove that a simple innovation can significantly reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.”

The next step will be to extend the Ecotail test to multiple vehicles, with domestic and international destinations. Ephicas, together with partner PART (Platform for Aerodynamic Road Transport), is also in talks with policy makers in Brussels to adjust regulations regarding maximum vehicle length towards the use of aerodynamic tools.

foto: Jorrit Lousberg

foto: Jorrit Lousberg

Scania testing spoiler that can cut truck fuel consumption by 2 percent


Scania has begun practical tests of a rear air deflector known as a boat-tail, which can reduce fuel consumption by up to 2 percent, which corresponds to an annual saving of 1,200 litres of fuel and 3 tonnes of CO2 emissions for a truck running 200,000 km a year.

The boat-tail is mounted on a normal three-axle semitrailer for European long-haulage. The length of the vehicle combination increases by 30 cm, which is equivalent to the extra length permitted for a taillift or other loading equipment according to the European Union’s Directive 97/27 EC.

“The tests are limited to Sweden and Denmark while we await final word on how road and traffic authorities in the Netherlands and Germany view our interpretation and application of the EU directive,” says Anders Gustavsson, Managing Director of the Scania Transport Laboratory (Scania Transportlaboratorium AB).

Fuel savings of 2 per cent not only reduce the transport industry’s costs but also lead to large environmental gains.

“For the Transport Laboratory trucks, which run 360,000 km per year and consume an average of 26 litres of fuel per 100 km, it represents a annual saving of almost 1,900 litres of diesel and 5 tonnes of CO2 emissions – per truck. This kind of aerodynamic improvement is positive for industry profitability as well as the environment and is equivalent to the results of several years of engine and chassis development work,” Mr Gustavsson says.

A recently introduced EU proposal would amend the current Directive 97/27 EC to allow trailers to be equipped with a rear air deflector that lengths the vehicle combination by 30 cm.

Anders Gustavsson

“This is a solution that does not encroach on cargo space and can also be retrofitted on existing trailers. In light of this, I hope that European trailer manufacturers will find it of interest to begin developing an integrated boat-tail. It involves a very simple technical solution that could quickly help reduce transport costs and environmental impact,” Mr Gustavsson concludes.

The Scania Transport Laboratory is a wholly owned subsidiary of Scania that tests and evaluates vehicle characteristics and performance in commercial road haulage. The company’s tasks also include training and coaching its drivers in economical and safe driving techniques. The company accounts for a small portion of the goods haulage to Scania’s European production and assembly units. Its fleet consists of 20 tractor units and about 70 semitrailers.

For further information, please contact:

· Anders Gustavsson, Managing Director, Scania Transportlaboratorium, tel +46 8 553 811 56, e-mail (
· Hans-Åke Danielsson, Press Manager, tel. +46 8 5538 56 62, e-mail (

Boat tail

Boat tail reduces truck fuel consumption by 7.5 percent


A boat tail, a tapering protrusion mounted on the rear of a truck, leads to fuel savings of 7.5 percent. This is due to dramatically-improved aerodynamics, as shown by road tests conducted by the PART (Platform for Aerodynamic Road Transport) public-private partnership platform.

Public highways

A boat tail is a tapering protrusion about two metres in length mounted on the rear of a truck. The boat tail had already proved itself during wind tunnel experiments and computer simulations, both conducted at TU Delft, in theory and using small-scale models. Now an articulated lorry fitted with a boat tail has also undergone extensive testing on public highways.

Boat tail

Boat tail


An articulated lorry was driven for a period of one year with a boat tail (of varying length) and one year without a boat tail. The improved aerodynamics, depending on the length of the boat tail, resulted in reduced fuel consumption (and emissions!) of up to 7.5 percent. The optimum boat tail length proved to be two metres.


The tests were conducted by PART. This is a platform in which academics, road transport manufacturers, transport companies and shippers work together. The platform aims to reduce fuel consumption in the road transport industry by improving aerodynamics. PART’s ambition is to achieve a 20 percent reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in the road transport industry by 2020. TU Delft acts as secretary of PART. PART has previously conducted road tests on a new generation of aerodynamic sideskirts, which are to make their commercial debut later this year.