The Freight Transport Association (FTA) is calling for a ‘green truck fund’ to help operators adopt environmental technologies following release of the latest figures from the Government’s Low Carbon Truck Trial.
FTA says the fund would support operators in adopting alternative fuels and low carbon technologies to reduce carbon emissions and air pollutants. It says the high costs of vehicle conversions or purchasing ultra-low emission vehicles plus a lack of public refuelling infrastructure are significant barriers to putting greener trucks on the road.
Rachael Dillon, FTA’s Climate Change Policy manager, said: “The majority of funding to date has been allocated towards cars and vans. If the Government is serious about supporting green vehicles, it must ensure that freight receives a fair share of funding particularly given its key role in delivering the goods and services vital for the UK economy.”
A number of FTA members are involved in the Low Carbon Truck Trial, which is providing crucial feedback on the benefits and challenges of operating HGVs with gas. Data is being gathered to analyse emissions savings and the other benefits that gas HGVs can bring, such as lower noise. The trial involves more than 350 gas HGVs, with the majority using liquefied natural gas and the remainder using compressed natural gas. Additionally there are 10 vehicles running on used cooking oil. 25 public refuelling stations are being supported by the trial.
Gas and ultimately biomethane is an important alternative, especially for long trunking on motorways where electric is unviable. OLEV is supporting a £4 million funding competition for public gas refuelling infrastructure to be launched next year which will help industry, but in order to really kick start the market further financial support is required.
Ms Dillon said: “Based on the results to date of this trial, we would urge the OLEV which is providing an overall £500 million funding package for ultra-low emission vehicles (2015-2020) to seriously consider a ‘green truck fund’ to enable more operators to utilise alternative fuels and low carbon technologies when the current trial ends in 2016.”