Wednesday 28th Sep 2016 - Logistics Manager

FTA backs gas-powered HGVs

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The Freight Transport Association is urging the government to increase the use of biomethane in HGVs, following suggestions to do so by the Department for Transport’s Low Emission HGV Task Force.

Led by the Department for Transport, the Low Emission HGV Task Force is composed of industry groups, such as FTA, CILT, Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, RHA and SMMT.

FTA says an increase in the use of gas-powered HGVs will take the use of gas in the freight industry from small scale to mainstream, ensuring the freight sector contributes to national government carbon reduction targets.

The case for gas was first supported at the last Autumn Statement, where the fuel duty differential between the main rate of fuel duty and the rate for road fuel gases was maintained until March 2024.

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“The recent commitment by government on the duty differential for gas provides much needed confidence for the freight industry to invest in dual fuel and dedicated gas vehicles,” said climate change policy manager at FTA, Rachael Dillon.

“However, there is a lack of public refuelling infrastructure for gas vehicles which limits progress.   Additionally, biomethane supplies need to be secured for the transport sector.

“The Task Force recommendations show that government, key stakeholders and industry can work together to significantly increase the take up of gas HGVs.  It is vital that we now build momentum and ensure that the recommendations transfer into actions.”

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) also took part in the Task Force and is backing the use of natural gas and biomethane in HGVs, saying it is key in reducing carbon emissions from freight operators.

“Delivering certainty for investment in this alternative fuel is crucial to its development over the coming years. Now, with official government backing, investment in the necessary infrastructure, vehicle and technology developments can be made with greater confidence,” said chief executive of SMMT, Mike Hawes.