Throughout each evolution of Euro legislation, lubricants have played a vital role in enabling lower emissions in increasingly challenging hardware environments. Advances in lubricant formulations have helped to enable widespread catalyst adoption (through the use of lower phosphorous), diesel particulate filter (DPF) fitment through reduction in sulphated ash and increased oil drain intervals (through enhancements in oxidation performance).

Vehicle fuel efficiency in the form of CO2 output,

not previously included in the Euro standards, has only recently been introduced. Although OEMs have increased the fuel efficiency of their vehicles during this time period, International Energy Agency (IEA) studies have shown that commercial vehicle energy consumption and tailpipe emissions have increased by 2.6% per year, with commerical vehicles responsible for more than 80% of this growth3

. More commercial

vehicles driving more kilometres leads to increased emissions. Rapid progress has been made in recent years, partly as a result of the Paris Agreement, to define and introduce legislation which will help to slow this rise in CO2


30th June 2020 as a baseline reference. Most recently, this baseline has been defined and announced, with the average CO2

classes and OEMs being 52.75g/tkm4 The new CO2

output across a range of weight .

targets laid out in Europe will begin to

precipitate major changes to propulsion methods of the existing vehicle parc.

A study conducted by ACEA and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) concluded that, in order to feasibly achieve these targets and carbon neutrality by 2050, all new trucks sold from 2040 would need to be fossil free. This challenging target requires a commercial vehicle parc refresh rate of 10 years versus today’s rate of close to 20 years.

New powertrain technologies such as battery electric, hydrogen fuel cell and even hydrogen internal combustion engines will begin to take centre stage. However, diesel powertrains will continue to play a vital role in the powertrain spectrum over the coming decades and maximising the efficiency of these powertrains, enabling them to move cleaner.

The efficiency of the diesel powertrain can be improved in many ways and optimisation of the lubricant system is an accepted approach to achieve increased efficiency. High performance lubricants at reduced viscosity grades are an important efficiency enabler which can be applied across the entire existing fleet of commercial vehicles; this is in contrast to hardware changes to the vehicle, which are generally not changeable throughout its lifetime.

Figure 1: European Legislation CO2 heavy duty diesel vehicles.

emission performance targets for new

In 2019, the European Commission formalised legislation which sets CO2

emission performance standards for

new commercial vehicles. The headline targets that this legislation sets out are a 15% CO2

reduction by 2025

and a 30% reduction by 2030, which are accepted as extremely challenging. These reductions are based on the average CO2

emissions of those newly registered commercial vehicles in the period from 1st July 2019 to

Increased efficiency can be enabled through reductions in the High Temperature High Shear (HTHS) viscosity of a lubricant. When the HTHS viscosity of a lubricant is reduced, changes to the additive chemistry are necessary to ensure wear protection and durability is not compromised. The additive chemistry can also be further optimised to maximise the efficiency of the lubricant, through use of friction modifiers. Moving from an SAE 10W-40 to an SAE 5W-20 can offer fuel efficiency improvements of up to 1.7%5

while further

3 IEA (2020), Trucks and Buses, IEA, Paris 4 Reducing CO2

in the Union and reference CO2 the year 2019 (notified under document C(2021) 3109)

5 The emission reductions when moving to lower HTHS viscosity lubricants (infographic illustration produced by The Lubrizol Corporation) Lubricant CO2

emission reductions based on heavy duty diesel oil performance in the industry recognised OM501LA (fuel economy test) and Lubrizol analysis. Continued on page 16


emissions from heavy-duty vehicles | Climate Action ( | COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING DECISION (EU) 2021/781 of 10 May 2021 on the publication of a list indicating certain CO2 emissions values per manufacturer as well as average specific CO2

emissions of all new heavy-duty vehicles registered emissions pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2019/1242 of the European Parliament and of the Council for the reporting period of

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