The Freight Transport Association has come out in public support of a £4m government investment to provide publicly accessible gas refueling points for HGVs across the UK.
The announcement made by Transport Minister Baroness Kramer outlined details of the fund to help refuel gas-powered trucks which would give businesses who use them the flexibility to refuel en-route, rather than having to specifically plan journeys between refuelling stations.
Rachael Dillon, the FTA’s climate change policy manager, said: “Gas offers a viable way for operators to switch to alternative fuels to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality especially on long trunking journeys where electric and hybrid technology is impractical. Currently, there is a limited number of public refuelling stations for operators to refuel gas HGVs. This is one of the major factors preventing the market from taking off.”
In 2014, the FTA put forward a submission to the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) calling for financial support for the HGV sector to help invest in alternative fuels and technologies aimed at reducing carbon emissions.
The Association has said that an increase in gas refuelling infrastructure will enable operators without their own refuelling facilities to use gas vehicles and allow those who tend to refuel at base to operate more efficiently and cover larger trip distances.
The FTA said that this government commit would provide reassurance for operators looking to invest in the technology. It would, in addition to this, provide a stronger business case for dual fuel gas or dedicated gas vehicles, which are significantly more expensive than conventional diesel.
“We look forward to working with OLEV as the funding project progresses,” said Dillon. Naturally, we would also like to see a larger proportion of funding for ultra-low emission vehicles for freight to enable the sector to reduce emissions, given its vital role in delivering the goods for our economy and look forward to further announcements.”