EU leaving UK behind in race to decarbonise haulage

The UK risks falling behind on decarbonising HGVs while the EU races ahead, according to a green transport thinktank.

Transport & Environment (T&E) said that despite the government announcing £200m of funding for truck decarbonisation projects, it paled into insignificance compared to EU progress.

It said the UK had plenty of ambition but was lacking in action, citing an EU-wide law that ensured by 2025 there would be charging stations for HGVs every 60km along the core network in Europe and every 100km on larger, more comprehensive roads.

Complete network coverage is expected by 2030.

T&E added that the EU was also introducing standards that enabled truck makers to ramp up production of zero-emission trucks.

It compared HGV CO2 emissions from UK HGVs in 1990 and in 2021 and said there had been barely any decrease.

“The UK is in real danger of losing any competitive edge it has on truck decarbonisation”, said Richard Hebditch, T&E UK director.

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“It’s vital that the UK stays in the race as there is a flourishing industry behind e-HGV production, charging and battery supply that the UK could tap into.

“The government seems to be tiptoeing around major issues when it comes to transport decarbonisation and HGVs are a major opportunity, it would be silly and short-sighted to continue to pay them such little attention.”

The thinktank’s comments came as research by BP found that despite the majority of fleet managers believing decarbonisation was a positive move for their business, there remained significant concerns about the availability of alternative fuels and charging infrastructure.

BP said over half (53%) of HGV fleet managers said they had already begun their journeys to net zero but the same proportion questioned whether there would be enough renewable diesel to cater for demand.

A further 42% said they had concerns around recharging electric trucks during long-haul journeys.

Adrian Brabazon, head of UK fleet solutions at BP, says: “It’s encouraging to see that many HGV fleet managers are feeling positive about decarbonisation.

“At BP with our integrated approach and strong presence in traditional fuels, EV charging, and bioenergy, we are planning to develop a network of dedicated hubs for HGVs that will offer a selection of fuelling options, as well as better facilities for drivers.”

The post EU leaving UK behind in race to decarbonise haulage appeared first on Motor Transport.

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