Generic large goods vehicle transport

[edit / update model]
This category is now deprecated. All of the functionality of this category (and more) an be found under the specific DEFRA category for heavy goods vehicles

The category /transport/lgv/generic contains data associated with the greenhouse gas emissions of representative large goods vehicle types sourced from UK government agency DEFRA.

Several subcategories also contain data for large goods scenarios: these include methodologies for both vehiclular and freight-based emissions calculations sourced from the World Resources Institute Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHGP), the UK government agency DEFRA and the IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. To view details of these categories, see the appropriate subcategory documentation.

Emissions within this category can be calculated on the basis of fuel consumed or distance travelled. Specific fuel-based and distance-based emissions factors are available, although users have the option of deriving their own distance-based emissions factors based on the fuel emissions factors and details of their vehicles fuel consumption.

Selecting vehicle type

To use this category, specify the vehicle size using the size drill option, from which the user can choose between:

  • articulated
  • non articulated

Calculating by fuel consumed

To make calculations according to the quantity of fuel consumed, users need only specify the fuel quantity using the fuelConsumed profile item value. The returned value represents CO2 emissions associated with the quantity specified. This is the most accurate method for determining emissions since it makes no assumptions or generalisations regarding the performance, context or efficiency of the vehicle. This calculation method takes precedence over distance-based calculations (see below) - i.e. this calculation will be performed whenever the fuelConsumed profile item value is specified.

Calculating by distance

To calculate according to distance, users need to specify at least a distance value, and select between calculations based on either established, generic emissions factors or those derived from fuel consumption data. Occupancy can be specified (see below]]) but defaults to a sensible value if not set.

Using established emissions factors

To use established emissions factors (sourced from DEFRA, users need only set the distance profile item value (although several further specifications may be made in order to establish more accurate results - see below). If the distance profile item value alone is set, the returned amount represents CO2 emissions associated with large goods vehicle transport according to the distance specified.

Deriving emissions factors from fuel consumption

Instead of using pre-established emissions factors, users can opt to give a vehicle's fuel consumption. This can either be a user's own estimate (self-calculated or perhaps obtained from their on-board computer) or one provided by the manufacturer, and results in a more accurate estimate of the kg CO2 emitted. The specified fuel consumption value is used in conjunction with data on the carbon intensity of the respective fuel type taken from The category /home/energy/quantity to obtain a distance-based emissions factor according to:

Factor(mass CO2 per distance) = fuel carbon intensity(mass CO2 per volume) / fuel consumption(volume per distance)

To specify either a manufacturer or self-calculated fuel consumption rate, set either the fuelConsumption or fuelConsumptionOwn profile item values. If the former (i.e. manufacturer) is specified, Discover will inflate the value by 15% to account for real world usage. Next, specify the distance travelled using the distance profile item value.

Emissions factor modifiers

Emissions factors can be further tweaked to provide more accurate calculations by setting several other profile item values which represent factors affecting vehicle fuel consumption. These can be accessed as follows:

  • set tyresUnderinflated = 'true' to specify under-inflated tyres (increases emissions by 1%)
  • set airconFull = 'true' to specify regular use of air conditioning (increases emissions by 20%)
  • set airconTypical = 'false' to 'switch off' the typical-air-conditioning-usage assumption (decreases emissions by 5%)
  • set ecoDriving = 'true' to specify fuel saving driving practices (e.g. avoiding excessive speed, harsh acceleration and braking; decreases emissions by 10%)
  • set regularlyServiced = 'false' to 'switch off' the regular-vehicle-service assumption (increases emissions by 4%)
Note: these are irrelevant and therefore ignored if the user has supplied their "own" estimate of fuel consumption, and only apply if using established, generic emissions factors or an emissions factor derived from manufacturer fuel consumption data.


Users can set multiple occupancy for large goods vehicle travel, which 'shares' the vehicular emissions across all passengers. To specify the number of occupants set the occupants profile item value. If no value is set, the calculation will be made on the basis of a single occupant (i.e. the driver) and simply represents emissions for the entire vehicle journey(s).

9XFX88RD8QV9 diesel, articulated
EF0HTP9B6DSD diesel, non articulated
Set "true", for maximum aircon usage
Set "true", for typical aircon usage
Country in which car used
Specify the distance travelled
Set "true", for eco-conscious driving
Number of occupants
User specified fuel consumption rate
Set "true", is vehicle serviced regularly
Manufacturers fuel consumption rate
Set "true", for underinflated tyres
Set "true", to use the typical distance