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New report says that fleets need support, not regulation, to help reach 20-20-20 commitments

Brussels, 25 January, 2012 – A new report released today by Goodyear Dunlop reveals that despite efforts to improve fuel efficiency, 1 in 7 European road hauliers predict they will be out of business within eight years unless drastic developments are made to improve fleet fuel efficiency. At a dedicated fleet symposium that took place in Brussels today, Goodyear Dunlop presented several recommendations to help commercial road transport sector to improve their fuel efficiency.

The fuel consumption of a vehicle has a direct impact on its CO2 emissions. Goodyear Dunlop’s Road to 2020 report shows that a third (30%) of European fleets currently has no plans in place to respond to expected Europe-wide CO2 regulation. In its most recent Transportation White Paper, the European Commission gave fleets clear indications that further regulation and taxation on fuel and CO2 emissions will be introduced in the coming decade.

At the same time, fleets are looking at industry and policy-makers to help them achieve greater efficiency:

  • 1 in 3 want the EU to invest in fuel efficient technology and development programs;
  • 1 in 4 want a modeling tool that predicts the cost and CO2 savings of investments in green equipment and training;
  • 1 in 4 want more information on the factors affecting fuel efficiency;
  • 1 in 5 want European legislation that incentivizes efficient fleets.

"The road freight sector is facing enormous pressure to help meet Europe’s ambitious climate change targets, but despite their commitment to fuel economy, we found many fleets could be better prepared to handle the cost and operational impacts of a potential carbon regulation,” said Michel Rzonzef, Vice President, Goodyear Dunlop commercial tire business EMEA. “The research confirmed that the overwhelming majority of fleets already have robust fuel efficiency measures in place, and therefore struggle to see what else they can do to improve efficiency and lower carbon emissions to achieve even stronger goals. Low rolling resistance tires are one option to improve a fleet’s fuel efficiency amongst others, such as eco-driving training for truck drivers, improved logistics, route planning and aerodynamics on vehicles."

Fuel efficiency, priority #1

With prices at the pump rising and 2 in 5 fleets reporting they are under customer pressure to green their operations, it is unsurprising that over 9 in 10 fleets are already working to improve their fuel economy:

  • 7 in 10 have invested in eco-driving training;
  • 6 in 10 have procured more efficient vehicles;
  • 2 in 5 have improved logistics and route planning;
  • 2 in 5 have switched to more fuel efficient tires.

Target 2020

With only 8% of fleets having taken no action to reduce their fuel use, Europe’s road hauliers are skeptical about how much more they can do to increase efficiency and drive down emissions.

7 in 10 European fleets currently work toward a self-imposed target for either fuel savings or CO2 savings. With substantial efforts already underway, fleets are conservative in estimating possible further efficiency savings:

  • 52% of fleets do not think they can achieve further efficiency savings of more than 10%;
  • Only 1 in 10 believes the sector can achieve the 20% efficiency savings target outlined in the EU’s 20-20-20 low-carbon commitments;
  • 1 in 5 fleets are unsure as to whether any further savings can be made.

Interestingly, fleets from countries with lower fuel prices are more optimistic. In both Poland and Spain, where fuel costs are below the EU average, a fifth of fleets are confident they can achieve a further 20% efficiency savings by 2020. In the UK, however, where fuel prices are higher than the European average, a third of fleets says that they have done all they can to improve fuel efficiency, and no more savings can be made.

Recommendations

Based on the findings, Goodyear Dunlop calls on policy-makers to consider the following recommendations to help the commercial road transport sector reduce emissions and improve efficiency:

  • Making tire pressure monitoring systems mandatory on all new Heavy Duty Vehicles;
  • Investing in improved tire pressure monitoring technology for Heavy Duty Vehicles;
  • Offering incentives to those fleet operators who invest in aerodynamic improvements or purchase tires that achieve A, B, C grades on the new EU tire label, in both rolling resistance and wet grip;
  • Adjusting EU restrictions on weight and height for Heavy Duty Vehicles to improve efficiency.

This report was launched today at Driving fuel efficiency in Europe’s road freight transport - A Goodyear Dunlop Fleet Symposium.

To interview the report’s authors or learn more about the symposium or the report, please contact carola_cotronei@goodyear.com.

The complete report and biographies of the speakers can be downloaded at: www.fleet-fuel-efficiency.eu

For more information on Goodyear and its products, visit www.goodyear.com

Free broadcast quality b-roll and soundbites supporting this press release will be available after the Symposium on www.thenewsmarket.com/goodyear-dunlop.

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About The Road to 2020 Report

Goodyear Dunlop set out to learn the challenges European fleet managers are currently facing and conducted a quantitative survey of over 400 European long-and regional-haul fleet managers between September and November 2011. The survey research was supplemented by in-depth interviews with 16 fleet managers and 20 industry experts, academics and policy makers.

Respondents from the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland and Benelux were contacted via e-mail and phone and were asked 20 quantitative questions about their experiences and opinions on managing fuel efficiency. Survey results represented a wide range of firms in the sector: 60% fleets of 1-50 trucks (these are the fleets most at risk from rising costs), 30% managed fleets of 51-250 trucks, and a tenth managed fleets above this size. Full results will be revealed at Goodyear Dunlop Fleet Symposium on 25th January 2012.

About Goodyear

Goodyear Dunlop Europe’s range of tires for commercial vehicles, buses and coaches includes more than 400 different tires covering in excess of 55 sizes. Many of the world's leading commercial vehicle manufacturers fit tires from Goodyear as standard, including DAF, Iveco, MAN, Mercedes-Benz, Renault Trucks, Scania and Volvo. Goodyear also supplies tires to all major trailer manufacturers. With Fleet First, which includes the TruckForce service network, ServiceLine 24h roadside assistance, Mobility, FleetOnlineSolutions Internet management system and Goodyear Retread Technologies, Goodyear provides the broadest range of dedicated services in the industry.

Goodyear is one of the world’s largest tire companies. It employs approximately 73,000 people and manufactures its products in 54 facilities in 22 countries around the world. Its two Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry.