Swiss contribution to Eureka Project Ecovehicle E!7219: Defining road and rail vehicles with a low environmental footprint

The increase in the number of Heavy Duty Vehicles (HDV) is inherently accompanied by increase in congestion, pollutant emissions, noise and energy use as well as infrastructure overuse, all of which have broad societal implications. In addition to affecting the environment, contributing markedly to global warming, significant implications for the health of many residents living along traffic corridors as well as increases in the cost of infrastructure maintenance are logical consequences. Using individual vehicle data, the footprint project (ASTRA 2004/020, ASTRA 2004/008, ASTRA 2010/019) has shown that within every vehicle category there are those with a very high combined footprint considering noise, dynamic load and pollutant emissions. Up to now the Swiss heavy vehicle fee (LSVA) based on the environmental differential charging, has been very successful in reducing the impact of pollutant emissions at source and to the more economical transport of goods. The aim of this follow up project is to develop new instruments to encourage vehicles with a low total footprint. Specifically, to develop methods to include noise as a parameter in the differential charging of LSVA. This is in line with the European noise directive (2002/49/EC) and Swiss policy to develope a long-term strategy, which includes objectives to reduce the number of people affected by noise in the longer term, and provides a framework for developing existing community policy on noise reduction from source. This will be achieved in parallel within a new European project Ecovehicle (E!7219).This project fits well within the key targets of ASTRA/BAFU/ARE R&D concept (http://www.ressortforschung.admin.ch/html/dokumentation/Forschungskonzepte_13-16/Forschungskonzept_Raum_2013-16%20d.pdf) defined for the period 2013-2016. Specifically in terms of noise abatement, protection of the natural environment, promotion of further reduction of emissions of heavy vehicles and innovations in promoting a sustainable environment.