Monthly newsletters from the Vice Presidents of the HVTT Forum.

April 2021 Newsletter

Dear HVTT Forum subscribers,

I am proud to draw your attention to the renewed website of the 16th International Symposium on Heavy Vehicle Transport & Technology (, held from September 7-9 in Qingdao, China. The HVTT16 is increasingly taking shape. It is a major challenge to create an attractive online symposium in parallel with a physical program in Qingdao. The HVTT16 organization strives to ensure that everyone in every time zone can attend as much of the program as possible at acceptable times, that we can communicate with each other and that everything runs smoothly technically. They have brought in extra expertise to meet these challenges and they do that well, I can tell you that. A big compliment to the organizers!

The number of papers is also encouraging. The HVTT16 program will accommodate approximately 70 papers on a variety of topics related to heavy duty vehicles and (road) freight transport. Attention authors: the deadline for submitting the full papers is 31 May!

We have had to postpone the HVTT16 by a year. It is great that the hybrid symposium will now take place from September 7-9 in Qingdao. And it is necessary too. The world is changing fast and there are numerous issues where knowledge development and the exchange of knowledge and experience are urgently needed. For example, there are the issues around air pollution and climate change. A theme that will also occupy an important place on the HVTT16.

The April 2021 National Geographic theme issue is about air quality. The WHO (World Health Organization) states that worldwide about 7 million premature deaths can be related to poor air quality. National Geographic calls this a “slow motion pandemic”. Francesca Dominici, a professor on biostatistics at Harvard University, has been able to substantiate a link between COVID-19 and air quality. There appears to be a relationship between the number of deaths as a result of the lung virus disease and the degree of air pollution. Particle pollution accounted for 15 percent of COVID-19 deaths. In badly polluted countries in East Asia, it was 27 percent.

The emission of pollutants from road vehicles must be reduced and that is quite a task that requires an effort from all stakeholders involved. In the ‘Green Deal’, the European Union has set out the ambition to reduce CO2 by 90%. The European Road Transport Research Advisory Council (ERTRAC), a technology platform which brings together road transport stakeholders to advise the European Commission on the future research agenda, wants to tighten the ambition even further. It strives for net zero CO2 emissions Road Transport. On April 29, ERTRAC held a workshop on the research it is currently conducting under the name: Well-To-Wheel Study on Climate Neutral Road transport 2050 ( The study, which is currently in the final phase, outlines scenarios for how the energy transition could take place, including for heavy duty vehicles.

While in some parts of the world the healthcare sector is under great pressure, elsewhere people are cautiously beginning to think about reopening society and in other parts of the world such as China, Australia and New Zealand life has already almost returned to normal. Meanwhile, mutations of the virus are popping up here and there. As humanity, we were familiar with pandemics, but none of us have any experience of how we have now responded globally to COVID-19. The situation is still very uncertain for international travel. Keep a close eye on the HVTT16 website. The situation with regard to the COVID response/entry policy in China will be regularly updated on the website.

The Keukenhof is not yet allowed to open because of COVID-19, while under normal circumstances it would now be very busy in the internationally renowned spring garden park in The Netherlands. The advantage of this situation is that everyone can now take a virtual look and I can advise you to do so: (See below.)

April was colder than usual in north-western Europe. In the Netherlands, the average temperature was 6.7 degrees Celsius against a normal 9.9 degrees Celsius. The reason was a steady north wind. On no less than twenty-six of the thirty days, the wind blew from directions between northwest and northeast. Fortunately, the month was also very sunny! That makes you longing for summer!

Stay healthy and drive safely!

Loes Aarts

HVTT Forum President

Preparations for the next season and the Keukenhof before the pandemic

Preparations for the next season and the Keukenhof before the pandemic