Freight must receive fair share of low-emission vehicle funding, says FTA

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) is calling for a ‘green truck fund’ to help operators adopt cleaner technology following the latest progress report from the government’s Low Carbon Truck Trial.

The association said the fund would support operators in adopting alternative fuels and low-carbon technologies, as high upfront vehicle purchase or conversion costs, in addition to a lack of public refuelling sites, are preventing the increase of greener trucks on the roads.

Rachael Dillon, FTA climate change policy manager, said: “The majority of funding to date has been allocated towards cars and vans.  If the government is serious about supporting green vehicles, it must ensure that freight receives a fair share of funding particularly given its key role in delivering the goods and services vital for the UK economy.”

A number of FTA members are involved in the Low Carbon Truck Trial, which is providing crucial feedback on the benefits and challenges of operating HGVs with gas.  Data is being gathered to analyse emissions savings and the other benefits that gas HGVs can bring, such as lower noise.

The FTA said gas and ultimately biomethane is an important alternative, especially for long trunking on motorways where electric is unviable.  While it welcomed the Office for Low-Emission Vehicles’ (OLEV) £4m funding competition for public gas refuelling infrastructure to be launched next year, it said further financial support is required to “really kick-start the market”.

Dillon added: “Based on the results to date of this trial, we would urge the OLEV, which is providing an overall £500m funding package for ultra-low emission vehicles (2015-2020), to seriously consider a ‘green truck fund’ to enable more operators to utilise alternative fuels and low-carbon technologies when the current trial ends in 2016.”