The Freight Transport Association has called on the government to provide the cash to boost the take-up of green fuels by the road transport industry.
The government has just released the final results of its Low Carbon Truck Trial that put more than 350 gas powered trucks on the roads which showed widespread acceptance of the technology.
But the FTA reckons that the high costs of vehicle conversions or purchasing ultra-low emission vehicles plus a lack of public refuelling infrastructure are significant barriers to putting greener trucks on the road.
And it argues that the government must stump up the cash to encourage operators to adopt the technology.
Rachael Dillon, FTA’s climate change policy manager, said: “It is crucial that renewable fuels such as biomethane can be utilised in trucks to bring bigger emission reductions, especially when there are limited options for heavier vehicles to decarbonise. Government must incentivise the production of biomethane for use as a road transport fuel rather than through the heat sector.”
Dual fuel trucks help operators win more business
Some 22 per cent of fleet managers in a trial of dual fuel vehicles said that operating the trucks helped them to win new business.
Not only that, 11 per cent had purchased more new dual fuel trucks during the trial period without any grant funding. And four out of five fleet managers said the vehicles were good for their company’s image.
The low carbon truck trial was launched in 2012. With £11.3 million funding from the Office of Low Emission Vehicles and Innovate UK (formerly the Technology Strategy Board). The aim was to encourage and assist them to buy and use alternatively-fuelled heavy goods vehicles and supporting infrastructure.
The trial comprised of 12 consortia projects with 35 participating companies (including fleets, emission testing companies, station providers, universities and product developers). By July 2016, 371 vehicles were deployed and 15 refuelling stations were commissioned or upgraded.
The trial concluded in 2016 and this report, prepared by Atkins and Cenex, found that 89 per cent of fleet managers were glad they had taken part in the LCTT.
Drivers showed no clear preference towards CNG or LNG refuelling as ratings were influenced more by other factors such as the dual – fuel systems in use, refuelling station reliability and the additional distance to travel to refuelling stations.
The diesel and used cooking oil trucks were reported to perform comparably to diesel vehicles in all aspects with the exception of emissions, where the fleet manager rated these as much better than diesel.