FTA: ‘low carbon trucks’ need government financial support

Operators should receive financial support from the government to encourage the take-up of green fuels and technologies, the FTA has urged.

Following the publication of the final report evaluating the performance of the DfT’s Low Carbon Truck Trial yesterday, the industry association said that the number of alternatively fuelled trucks would decline if further financial support was not received to ‘bridge the gap to large-scale commercialisation’.

FTA climate change policy manager Rachael Dillon said: “The UK gas truck fleet makes up just 0.2% of the overall truck fleet and there is potential for significant progress to be made in increasing these numbers.”

She added: “If the government is serious about increasing the presence of ‘green’ trucks on our roads, it must ensure that it continues to help provide facilities and incentives for operators to use them.”

Dillon also said that the government should incentivise the production of biomethane for use as a road transport fuel, rather than a heating fuel, as it would lead to bigger emission reductions from the road transport fleet across the UK.

Yesterday the final report to the DfT Low Carbon Truck and Refuelling Infrastructure Demonstration Trial Evaluation acknowledged concerns over methane slip (an increase in greenhouse gas emissions due to the incomplete combustion of methane as the engine switches from one fuel to the other).

Although analysis into methane slip among dual fuel trucks participating in the trial was conducted independently and disputed in the official findings of the trial, operators voiced concerns that it reduced the credibility of dual fuel vehicles. This led the RHA to accuse the trial of wasting £25m of taxpayers’ money.