At the end of June 2016, Transport Minister Andrew Jones announced that the government would be initiating a fund to help promote the move by haulage companies to environmentally friendly green trucks. |
According to the Minister, the fund will consist of £19 million. £15 million is to encourage the transfer to innovative low and zero emission vehicle technologies, and the remaining £4 million will be for new alternative fuel infrastructures including electric vehicle charging stations.
Low Emission and Green House Gases
Road transportation is one of the largest contributors to the buildup of greenhouse gases. According to some studies, cars and trucks contribute some 11% of total yearly emissions - and this percentage is growing year by year.
Truck fleets that make the move to low emission or zero emission vehicles can significantly contribute to a substantial decrease in carbon emissions in the areas they operate in. It is estimated that the use of alternative fuel technologies in a petrol vehicle will reduce emissions by some 62%, and in a diesel powered vehicle by approximately 53%.
Studies by the European Environmental Agency suggest that a move to low emission technologies, electric vehicles and other anti-pollution measures by haulage companies and car manufacturers could half the number of deaths caused by air pollution by 2020.
How Low Emission Trucks Can Benefit Your Fleet
As drivers and haulage companies across the country are well aware, more and more cities and urban concentrations are implementing Low Emission Zones where trucks are penalised for their carbon emission levels. For example, all roads in Greater London, around Heathrow Airport and some parts of the M1 and M4 are included in London’s LEV zone (not the same as the congestion zone).
This means that if your vehicles fail to meet LEZ emission standards, you will automatically be charged for using the zone and could also be liable for some hefty penalty charges as well.
Low Carbon Truck Trial Goes One Step Further
The government’s Low Carbon Truck pilot has put some 300 gas powered trucks on UK roads. However, despite this apparent success, there still remains a significant barrier to increasing this number: the lack of suitable infrastructure to make the move to LPG powered vehicles feasible.
This latest scheme has been applauded by haulage companies and transport associations across the country as being a step in the right direction. It is hoped that this extra funding will help fleet operators to significantly step up their existing emission reduction programs, which include driver training, aerodynamic trucks and loads, as well as better route planning and journey scheduling.
One of the suggested ways in which fleet operators can improve emission efficiency is by using this new source of funding to become part of Research and Development bodies that are dedicated to the transport industry, and finding new and innovating solutions for the haulage industry.
There has been some criticism of the new scheme for not going far enough in its scope. Some have said that the HGV industry needs to receive grants, just as the van and car sectors, that can be used for improving equipment and lowering emission levels.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage companies with jobs in road transport and haulage work. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
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