Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) are the most challenging road vehicles to transition to electric or hydrogen power, a practical and affordable solution is twenty to thirty years away. As the table below shows, since 1990 emissions from HGVs have actually risen. These vehicles also generate the highest emissions per vehicle.
The only immediately deployable at scale ultra-low carbon alternative fuel for use in HGVs is biomethane. This is why major logistics companies across the UK are today switching away from diesel to biomethane, which can be supplied as both gaseous and liquefied fuels. The trucks are being produced by truck manufacturers and the refuelling infrastructure is developed.
The DfT’s upcoming Transport Decarbonisation Plan should recommend a role for gas HGVs as a key method for decarbonising heavy goods transport. It is the only way to decarbonise HGVs today without having to wait for a technological breakthrough in 20years.SummaryThere is no other sector of the UK economy where large CO₂ emissions cuts can be so quickly and cost-effectively implemented as the HGV and in particular, the long-distance truck sector.
Unlike many other decarbonisation initiatives, expensive subsidies are not required. Positive support from the Government will create certainty to unlock investment. In turn this will make a significant contribution to the UK’s “green recovery” and create jobs in the rapid construction of refueling infrastructure. This is the essential prerequisite for reducing emissions and pollution from HGVs operating on our roads.