Meeting the carbon-free challenge before 2050


In order to meet net-zero carbon targets by 2050, truck manufacturers in Europe have come to the conclusion that all new trucks made and sold will need to be completely free from fossil fuels before 2040. It’s an incredibly ambitious target to meet, and one that will only be possible with the right refuelling infrastructure in place.

While setting a target date for phasing out trucks and lorries reliant on diesel is a positive sign, it is important for fleet operators to have a “roadmap” to zero emissions. This will ensure that all operators have the knowledge and the capacity to ensure that businesses continue to run smoothly amidst this ambitious change.

2030 deadline for smaller vehicles

Here in the UK, the government has pledged to end sales of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030. New hybrid vans are to be phased out by 2035. This means the reality for vehicle manufacturers is that significant progress now needs to be made in both production and EV charging infrastructures across the country.

Many fleets are still only just beginning to grasp the transition from traditional motors to electric vans. One key example is Royal Mail, which operates the largest fleet of light commercial vehicles in the UK, only approximately 300 of which are fully electric.

Longer term for HGVs

While the government has committed to the 2030 deadline for lighter vehicles, they are still to hold a consultation on plans for phasing out HGVs like trucks and lorries. It seems likely, however, that future plans may follow those suggested by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) to ensure fossils are phased out by 2040.

To assist in the roadmap to a carbon-neutral 2050, the ACEA also calls on governments to help “operators absorb the cost burden” associated with such a radical overhaul. The key to a greener future will ultimately come down to policymakers implementing a dense network of charging and refuelling systems, suitable for vehicles of all sizes. This, however, could take years to effectively roll out on a widespread scale.

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