Fuel for thought
Maxine Perella finds out how UK hauliers are attempting to drive down emissions
Few would oppose the proposition that the freight transport sector needs to reduce emissions. The challenge lies in engineering a decarbonisation solution that is compatible with the diverse range of vehicle configurations, weights and fleet sizes. According to the government’s Freight Carbon Review 2017, heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) account for around 17% of UK greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions from road transport, while being responsible for just 5% of vehicle miles.
‘There’s no one silver bullet to help to reduce freight emissions,’ says Rachael Dillon, former climate change policy manager at the Freight Transport Association (FTA). ‘Technology that is right for one vehicle may not be right for another. A refuse vehicle dependent on stop-start operations, frequent stops and low mileage is doing something entirely different from a supermarket retailer trucking up and down the motorway.’
In the review, which was published in February, the government acknowledged that a range of measures was needed if the road freight sector were to make a meaningful contribution to the UK’s target for emissions to fall 57% below 1990 levels by 2032, in line with the fifth carbon budget.
Although the delayed emissions reduction plan (known as the Clean Growth Plan) should outline the steps the ...