Lorries with rounder cabin noses are set to make their way onto European roads from 1 September 2020, as the Council on 22 May signed off on the earlier introduction of the safer and greener design.
The decision adopted by ministers amends the rules on the maximum size of lorries, bringing forward the date allowing for extra length for a rounder front without reducing the space for cargo. A provisional agreement was reached between the Romanian presidency and the European Parliament on 12 February.
"This new generation of cabins will be safer, more fuel-efficient, and more comfortable for drivers. So it's good news for all road users – and for the environment." Răzvan Cuc, Minister for Transport of Romania
The longer cab nose will reduce drivers' blind spots, making vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and bikers more visible to drivers. It will also reduce damage or injury caused to other road users in the event of a collision. According to Commission estimates, this could save up to 500 lives per year, mainly among pedestrians and bikers in urban areas.
The reduced air resistance is expected to cut fuel consumption by up to 10%. Lower emissions will help fight climate change.
Before aerodynamic cabs can be placed on the market, they must meet the necessary type-approval requirements. These will be in place by 1 November.
The extra length allowed can only be used to improve the aerodynamics of the cab – it cannot be used to increase the vehicle load capacity.
Council vote on 22 May concludes the legislative procedure. The European Parliament voted on 26 March. The decision will now be signed by both institutions and published in the EU Official Journal.