Government needs to support ultra-low emission HGV market

The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee released a report on the sustainability in transport which has received a positive reaction from the Freight Transport Association.

The report states that fiscal support will be needed as well as a regulatory reform in order to develop the market in ultra-low emission vehicles. The reform for cars would suggest to review company car taxation and for vans, a reform to the weight limitations on alt powered vehicles.

Christopher Snelling, FTA’s Head of National and Regional Policy commented “The Committee is right that more support will be needed for the purchasers of ultra-low emission vehicles if they are to take off in the market place as soon as possible.  The suggestion of considering reforming weight limitations on alternatively powered vans is welcome and should be explored further – subject to demonstrating it would not have a negative effect on safety”.

Mr Snelling proceeded to say: “The missing piece in the report is heavy duty vehicles.  From an engineering and technological point of view it is harder to decarbonise larger road vehicles – electric is not an option.  Trials of alternative power sources for lorries were made under the Government’s Low Carbon Truck Trial and a further low emission freight and logistics trial has recently been announced, but more fiscal support will be needed if these new vehicles are to get taken up by purchasers any time soon.  Currently alternatively powered vehicles only make up 0.2 per cent of the UK’s HGV fleet.”