How heavy-duty vehicle manufacturers can reduce emissions and protect vehicle performance

Tightening regulations and higher customer expectations prompt many manufacturers to accelerate implementation of lower-emission solutions that maintain reliability.

Regulation (EU) 2019/1242 went into effect in August 2019, setting new emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles and aiming to reduce 54 million tons of CO2 emissions by 2030 – part of the EU’s commitment to climate change under the Paris Agreement.

These emission standards initially cover large trucks, which account for 65-70% of all CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles. Although the effectiveness of these regulations is due for first review next year, it’s already been announced that from 2025, manufacturers will face significant financial penalties if emission target levels are not being met. The 2022 review may also extend the scope to a broader range of vehicle types such as buses, coaches, tractors and other agricultural equipment.

In addition to Regulation (EU) 2019/1242, other global regulations such as Euro 6, USA10 and Tier 4 for off-highway heavy duty vehicles, mandate that manufacturers reduce vehicle emission levels. At the same time, other global climate change initiatives to lower carbon emissions and improve sustainability are driving the shift toward electric modes of transport. A recent study estimates the electric vehicle (EV) industry will reach around USD $700 billion by 2026,* seeing compounded annual growth (CAGR) of 29% between 2021 and 2026**.

Growing expectations for EV options, timing to adopt new measures and the added incentive of hitting targets prior to 2025 through a super-credits system, is leading many Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to accelerate development of electric infrastructure and offerings that offset emissions from their traditional gas-operated machines. In cases of both electric and lower-emission gas machines, protection of critical vehicle parts and wiring is paramount to avoid additional repair costs, as well as maintain vehicle reliability and productivity.

With this in mind, we’ve outlined some considerations for manufacturers looking to safeguard vehicle performance through wiring and connector protection.

The lower the emissions, the hotter the engine

Modern engine design has evolved in recent years to improve safety and efficiency and reduce noise. These enhancements and the changes required to meet emission target levels translate to higher engine temperatures. Additional considerations include Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) systems that recycle an engine’s waste gases, the use of single or multiple turbos to improve tractability, and power and fuel efficiency, which have all contributed to higher temperature areas within a vehicle’s engine. Combined with hot engine oil, manufacturers need a comprehensive solution to protect wiring and help assure engine connectors are able to withstand extreme heat.

As OEMs work to improve safety and meet tighter emission standards, products such as Harnessflex® extreme temperature line that is designed and tested to protect against extreme cold and heat, while meeting the demands of today’s engines. Our range of conduits and fittings for extreme temperatures are designed to protect wiring and enable successful operation up to 200°C. Additional long-term heat aging and tensile and impact strength testing was performed to establish the reliability and validity of the range and that Harnessflex can help safeguard wiring in lower emission machines.

Protecting wiring and electric vehicle reliability

With electric vehicles soon to become the norm, maintaining reliability is more critical than ever. While all vehicles have wiring that needs to be protected, electric vehicles contain even more types and amounts of critical wiring that requires the optimum level of cable protection to facilitate their day-to-day operation and maintain productivity over the long haul. New electric vehicle offerings without the right cable protection system may be more prone to electrical failure resulting in breakdowns, timetable disruptions and repair costs.

To specifically protect essential wiring on modern electric vehicles and support reliability, ABB developed the Harnessflex Electric Vehicle Orange (EVO) conduit system. It features our signature vibration friendly profile (VFP) and UV and heat stabilization as standard, cable protection in harsh environments and helps minimize the risk of electrical failure.

Harnessflex Electric Vehicle Orange (EVO) conduit:

  • High flexibility and fatigue life
  • Resistant to automotive oils and solvents
  • High abrasion, impact and shock resistance
  • Temperature range: -40ºC to +120ºC
  • Temperature range short-term: +150°C
  • UV Resistance – Medium
  • IP40 – IP68 (2 bar 30 mins) (Depending on fittings)
  • Available colours: Orange (RAL2003)
  • Self extinguishing, low smoke toxicity and halogen free
  • Available in slit variants

Lowering emissions without sacrificing reliability

Amid this evolving regulatory environment and the shift to electric, heavy-duty vehicle, manufacturers hope to earn energy incentives, avoid future fines and help their customers effectively make environment-friendly changes. With their focus on lowering emissions created by their petrol offerings and gradually introducing their new electric vehicle ranges, OEMs‘ protection of vehicle wiring remains absolutely crucial to maintain reliability. Using a complete Harnessflex system in a vehicle, can help reduce running costs, minimize breakdowns and downtime, and boost overall productivity.

For more information on Harnessflex, visit our website here.

View more information on the REGULATION (EU) 2019/1242 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL here.

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About the author

Nathan Cook

Nathan is the Global Business Development Manager for ABB’s Harnessflex Brand of products, the leading and best range of cable and connector protection systems in the Heavy Automotive Sector. Harnessflex is dedicated to innovating and delivering maximum circuit integrity and performance in productivity critical heavy vehicles, including construction, agricultural & mining machinery, bus, truck, and drive train technology. Harnessflex is moving into the future with specialty ranges and advancements for growth industry sectors and high-spec applications such as EV development and high temperature protection. Nathan is based in the UK and works with customers and colleagues around the globe to protect electrical systems from in-field failure and the resulting machine downtime.
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