On the road towards a zero-emissions future


There has been a lot more focus on the environment and climate change in recent weeks. With zero emissions being one of the big long-term goals in the transport industry, the UK is currently aiming to cut carbon emissions to lower than 20% of levels recorded in 1990.

This target has galvanised the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Freight Transport Association (FTA) to act on finding newer and more environmentally friendly ways to ensure the transport industry remains sustainable in the years to come.

Payload concessions to boost zero emissions market

The FTA has praised a recent decision by the DfT to offer payload concessions to operators of alternatively fuelled vehicles. They believe that this will help to boost the zero emissions van market, ultimately encouraging more and more businesses to move towards cleaner commercial vehicles.

It’s hoped that the rise in demand for vans and trucks using alternative fuel sources will also push manufacturers to shift their focus from producing diesel vehicles towards those with a more sustainable future. One of the key reasons for the slow uptake in alternative fuels has been the lack of availability. With more manufacturers meeting the rising demand, operators will be able to benefit from government-backed concessions in the near future.

Diesel HGV ban feasible with government support

With an increased uptake in vehicles using cleaner fuels, this makes a proposed target on banning new diesel HGVs all the more feasible. At present, the recommendation is to stop the production and sale of new HGVs using diesel engines by the year 2040. Now the FTA is hopeful that this target can be reached, provided there is significant support from the government.

The FTA’s Head of UK Policy, Christopher Snelling, has stated: “The logistics sector is more than willing to make the permanent switch away from carbon based fuels, but the government must first ensure the infrastructure and funding is in place to support this.” Current changes that have been made are gradual, but from this point on, he urges for a “radical government investment” to boost the move towards carbon-neutral transport becoming the mainstream.

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