Climate Change Committee recommendations for lowering UK transport’s greenhouse emissions

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has urged the government to provide greater long-term certainty on policies that enable the UK transport industry to invest in emission-reduction schemes and vehicles.

It said many existing policies and funding streams for the transition to a low-carbon economy are due to end by 2020 and should be extended as soon as possible to give confidence to investors and support innovation.

Domestic transport accounted for 22% of total UK greenhouse emissions during 2014 – a rise of 1.1% and a reversal of the 1.1% average decline per annum seen since 2009.

In its first report to the new government, the CCC reports on data from last year and makes recommendations on how to improve transport’s carbon impact.

CO2 intensity of new cars and vans had continued to improve, but the report flags up growing concern about the widening gap between test-cycle and real-world emissions testing. There has also been little progress on developing post 2020 CO2 targets for cars and vans or developing CO2 regulation for new HGVs.

Electric vehicle sales have quadrupled during 2014, with many new models available. However, barriers to electric vehicle uptake must be addressed, including the provision of a national network of charging points and continued support for vehicles’ upfront costs while they remain more expensive than conventional options.

Penetration of biofuels increased from 2.9% by energy in 2013 to 3.2% in 2014, with almost half derived from waste.

The committee recommends that vehicle taxes keep pace with technological changes and improvements to CO2 levels, with a greater differential between rates for high and low-emission vehicles.

It also urged pioneering schemes from larger freight operators to reduce fuel costs and lower emissions should be rolled out across the whole industry, including smaller operators.

Following the CCC report, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has called for more government support to help transport operators make carbon savings, such as directing biomethane gas towards transport instead of electricity generation.

FTA’s Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme (LCRS) is an example of the type of successful emissions-reduction initiative the report recommends is rolled out across the whole of industry, said Christopher Snelling, head of urban logistics.

The scheme has been running for five years and has 110 members, responsible for more than 77,000 commercial vehicles.

“We have discussed our work with the CCC on many occasions and it is gratifying to have the approach of the LCRS supported in this way. LCRS members consistently make greater carbon reductions than non-members, so now we want to work with as much of the logistics industry as possible to make this even more of a success in the future,” Snelling added.


Zero-emission refrigeration units for HGVs move a step closer

A greener way to transport refrigerated and frozen goods moves a step closer with the opening of Dearman’s new R&D facility near Croydon, Surrey.

The Dearman Technology Centre  is the first dedicated liquid air engine facility of its kind and will enable the company to begin full testing of its zero-emission engine technology.

It will become a hub of liquid air engine design, engineering, test and development. When fully operational it will enable the testing of four engines simultaneously, along with full system testing, supported by low-volume manufacturing and build capabilities.

Dearman’s deputy chief executive, Michael Ayres, said:  “Having a bespoke facility means that we can accelerate our rate of development and testing, enabling us to bring zero-emission cold and power technologies to market even quicker.”

He added: “With four test cells and a dedicated workshop, we are able to work on several projects in parallel. Already we are placed to commence work on the high-efficiency auxiliary power unit for use on buses and heavy-duty vehicles next week.”

Dearman’s zero-emission transport refrigeration system is currently in extended on-vehicle testing at MIRA, and will be commencing commercial on-road trials later this year with low volume manufacturing planned in 2016.

In addition to significant reductions in NOx and particulate emissions, Dearman said its transport refrigeration system (TRU) results in substantial well-to-wheel CO2 savings. The operating costs are also lower than conventional units and pay-back is likely to be less than one year, it added.

The company has linked up with transport refrigeration unit firm Hubbard Products in its drive to bring the new technology to market.

Pat Maughan, MD, Hubbard Products, said the technology “has enormous potential to revolutionise both the emissions and costs inherent in refrigerated road transport”.

Dearman said the global market for refrigerated transport is projected to double by 2025, with 9.6 million vehicles on the road.

The company has recently been awarded funding from Innovate UK to develop its auxiliary power unit, and work on customising the transport refrigeration system for different vehicle types – activity that will be focused in the new Dearman Technology Centre.

Scottish urban delivery guide launched by FTA

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has launched a policy guide for making efficient urban deliveries to Scottish towns.

It aims to support economic growth in Scotland’s cities – and builds on the legacy of collaborative working practices that maintained efficient services in Glasgow during the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

The document highlights the importance of freight to Scotland’s city economies, out-of-hours delivery guidance, improving air quality and reducing carbon emissions and cycling safety issues.

Chris MacRae, FTA’s head of policy in Scotland, said: “Scotland’s cities are its economic power house and vital to its economic development. Efficient urban logistics are a key determinant of this, so facilitating the correct policies to enable this is essential.

“The Commonwealth Games taught us a lot in terms of managing freight delivery and servicing during a ‘business as unusual’ situation so it’s important to build upon best practice and experience to ensure urban freight deliveries and economic growth can succeed.”

For copies of the guide, please contact or call 01892 552255.

Local authority guide to encouraging uptake of low-emission vehicles launched

The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (Low CVP) has launched a good practice guide for ‘Local Measures to Encourage the Uptake of Low Emission Vehicles’.

This new guide aims to assist local and city authorities in understanding a broad range of
policy measures and initiatives that can be used to encourage the uptake of LEVs.

It covers 12 distinct areas including planning, procurement and infrastructure provision.

A key recommendation is that policy measures implemented at local level should be consistent with each other and that common definitions and vocabulary for low-emission vehicles should be established.

With 12 cities shortlisted for the government’s £35m Go Ultra Low City scheme now preparing their final
bids, Low CVP said the guide provides a wide range of options that bidders may employ.

Five ‘P’s are identified in the guide, which are the levers that local authorities can most effectively use to influence low-emission vehicle uptake at local level. These are:

  • Parking – discounts for LEVs or dedicated bays;
  • Permits – discounts for LEVs to operate in low-emission zones and for residents;
  • Planning – embedding consideration for LEV fuelling infrastructure into local
  • Procurement – local authorities specifying LEVs for their own fleets and setting leading
    standards for their service providers;
  • Promotion – of the benefits to business and via educational activity within the local

The Low CVP said light duty vehicles – cars, vans and taxis – contribute much of the air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in towns and cities across the UK and that low-emission vehicles have a critical role to play in tackling this.

Action taken at local level can be vital to complement national policies by making LEVs more convenient, cost effective and desirable to use, it added.

Examples of successful private public partnerships are explained in combination with case studies of
good practice in the UK and internationally.

The Guide outlines challenges local authorities face in adopting LEV policies, and provides recommendations for how these can be overcome.

Low CVP said the market for a variety of LEVs, such as battery electric and plug-in hybrids, is in its early stages and requires national and local incentives to stimulate consumer demand and increase vehicle numbers.

Local authorities are advised to set appropriate definitions for low emissions, prescribing the most up-to-date Euro engine emission standards and aligning CO2 emission standards with national policy

Research undertaken in developing the Guide found that air quality was the most powerful driver for
local authorities to implement low-emissions policies, followed by mitigating climate change.

Derek McCreadie, low-emission officer, City of York Council, said: “City of York Council recognises
the importance of using local policy measures to support the adoption of low emission vehicles. The
new Low CVP ‘Good Practice Guide’ offers a broad range of case studies and innovative policy ideas
that can be replicable across any local government context.”
About the LowCVP
The LowCVP was established in 2003 and is a public-private partnership that exists to accelerate a sustainable shift to lower carbon vehicles and fuels and create opportunities for UK businesses. Nearly 200 organisations are engaged from diverse backgrounds including automotive and fuel supply chains, government, vehicle users, academics, environment groups and others.

Van cost and carbon tool predicts savings through low-carbon vehicles

Cenex has launched an online van cost and carbon calculator tool to enable fleet decision-makers to explore if low-carbon vehicles could be feasible for their operations

The VC3 system computes the economic and environmental performance of diesel, electric, gas and stop-start van technologies, based on real-world driving scenarios.

“By providing a realistic whole-life cost, the VC3 de-risks the implementation of low carbon fleet solutions,” said Steve Carroll, technical specialist at Cenex. “The tool is based on real-world driving cycles, meaning it predicts real-world fuel consumption. This level of accuracy is something you can’t get elsewhere.”

The VC3 tool was developed by Cenex with funding from the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership. It allows users to specify van size, driving habits, annual mileage, and ownership period, and then provides a cost and carbon emission comparison of the low carbon van options relative to a diesel van.

Within the VC3, users will also find an introduction to the different low-carbon van technologies, including the main operational considerations that may affect a vehicle’s suitability for the user’s operation.

Once users have identified the technologies that can offer lower costs and better environmental performance, the tool provides links to further information, allowing them to find out about vehicle and refuelling equipment availability.

“The VC3 is powered by the Cenex Fleet Carbon Reduction Tool, a vehicle performance simulation that allows the VC3 to provide accurate fuel consumption results from a range of user-defined driving habits,” said Carroll. “It’s one of the few free-to-access, online tools for fleet decision-makers to calculate cost savings through carbon reduction.”

To access the VC3, visit:

  • Cenex is the UK’s first Centre of Excellence for Low Carbon and Fuel Cell technologies and is an independent not-for-profit company. It carries out a range of research and demonstration trials on low-carbon fuels and technology.

Arcese to roll-out natural-gas vans for London last-mile operation

Arcese is to introduce natural gas-powered vans for last-mile urban deliveries in London this summer.

The Italian logistics firm already launched a similar operation on Milan’s restricted traffic areas and  historical centre at the start of the year, as part of its environmental strategy and to meet demand from customers for sustainable logistics.

A pilot project was undertaken using natural gas vans for deliveries in urban areas as an alternative to traditional internal combustion engines, with CO2 emissions reduced by between 5% and 8%.

The company has opted to use Iveco Daily Natural Power vans on its operation, as it said they provide an efficient combination of performance and eco-sustainability.

Matteo Arcese, president of Arcese Group, said: “This pilot project is just one of a series of initiatives that we are pursuing on several fronts in efforts to reduce the environmental impact of our activities: these range from the constant renewal of the fleet, to driver training on the principles of sustainable driving, the development of intermodal transport, and the installation of photovoltaic systems on our new sites.”

The company renewed 15% of its fleet in 2014: 95% are Euro-5 and Euro-5 EEV vehicles (Enhanced Environmentally Friendly Vehicles), while the remaining 5% are Euro-6 vehicles.

Arcese in the UK is based at Thurrock, Essex and runs a fleet of around 80 vehicles.

NHS Trust reaps benefits from move to electric vans

A Northumbria NHS Trust has taken delivery of its 13th Nissan E-NV200 this year, having found the switch to electric-powered vans the ideal choice for the short, community-based journeys they operate on.

The vehicle was supplied by Lex Autolease and was the rental firm’s 2,000th plug-in electric vehicle on its fleet.

Michael Taylor, Trustwide hotel services officer at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The Trust wanted a cost-effective transport method to replace their fleet of ageing diesel vans and reduce carbon emissions. We undertook a significant amount of research into how we used vehicles across our facilities, and a move to electric vehicles proved the ideal solution.”

He added that the vehicles will primarily be used to transport goods between the four main sites of the Trust and community locations, with considerable efficiency savings already reported.

Chris Chandler, principal consultant at Lex Autolease, said: “For organisations such as Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, a move to electric vehicles can result in considerable efficiency savings and environmental benefits as their drive cycles are perfect for pure electric technology.”

Lex Autolease is responsible for around 7% of plug-in electric vehicles on UK roads, which it believes to be the largest fleet of its kind in the country. Electric commercial vehicles on the fleet comprise 75 Renault Kangoos and 37 Nissan Env200s.

The leasing firm anticipates significant growth in alternative-fuel registrations as more businesses and organisations become aware of the benefits.

Iconic venue for Freight in the City Expo 2015

The inaugural Freight in the City Expo will take place at London’s historic Alexandra Palace this autumn.

The iconic venue, situated high above the London skyline between Muswell Hill & Wood Green, first opened in 1873 on Queen Victoria’s 54th birthday.

In 1935, the BBC leased the eastern part of the building and the first public television transmissions were made in 1936.

In more recent years, the Palace has built a reputation as one of London’s premier event venues. With its beautiful setting with panoramic views of London, stunning architectural features and well-proportioned halls, the Palace is a popular choice for both corporate and private events. RYA-dinghy-show-2009-1000x6641

“We have selected Alexandra Palace as the venue for the inaugural Freight in the City Expo because it offers a fantastic exhibition space large enough for articulated trucks to drive straight into and it has great links to the M1, M25 and North Circular,” said Laura Hailstone, project manager of Freight in the City.

“Unlike purpose-built exhibition venues, Alexandra Palace has plenty of character and charm and will enable us to provide our exhibitors and visitors with a fantastic experience,” she added.

For visitors driving to Freight in the City Expo, the Palace has complimentary on-site parking for 1,500 vehicles. The venue itself is just 1 mile from the North Circular; 5 miles from the M1; and 8 miles from the M25.

For those travelling by public transport, both Wood Green underground and Alexandra Palace overground stations are close by, with a free shuttle bus running throughout the day of the exhibition collecting visitors from both stations and dropping them at the door of the Palace.

“The other bonus about the venue is that it provides us with the necessary infrastructure to set up a truck washing facility adjacent to the venue for any exhibitors showcasing trucks and vans,” said Hailstone.

The leading truck manufacturers have all shown a strong interest in exhibiting at the Expo. Details of confirmed bookings will be announced in the next edition of Freight in the City News (8 July).



Local authority interest in Fors standards gathering momentum

The Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (Fors) is gaining popularity from local authorities across the UK, as work-related road risk, air quality and vulnerable road user safety head higher up their agendas.

Speaking to, John Hix, regional director at Aecom – which operates the scheme with the CILT and Fleet Source through the Fors Community Partnership (FCP) – said support from local authorities was a key component in the expansion of Fors outside of London.

Local authorities can become involved with Fors in three different ways, said Hix.

First, those councils with their own fleets can become Fors operators themselves; second, local authorities could specify Fors requirements through their procurement contracts; and finally, those councils with planning powers could ensure Fors is implemented through planning consent arrangements and construction logistics plans before granting permission for new projects.

“For a local authority specifier, these are three things they can do as a minimum, none of which cost a great deal of money, but all will help them champion safety and help safeguard their repute. It will also help develop what we see as being the single national standard,” added Hix.

Local authorities can also benefit by looking to apply the scheme to not only HGVs and vans, which currently comprise the bulk of Fors members, but also apply it to bus, coach and taxi fleets in their areas.

Tyne and Wear are already supporting the implementation of Fors, which includes promotion and the provision of free workshop sessions to operators, said Hix, with talks also taking place with both Manchester and Liverpool authorities.

Fors is a voluntary scheme, launched in the capital by Transport for London (TfL) in 2007, that aims to help operators improve all aspects of safety, fuel efficiency, economical operations and vehicle emissions.

In February this year, the FCP was awarded a five- to seven-year concession by TfL  to take the scheme national.


Daf slashes kerb weight in prototype Future Truck Chassis Concept

Daf has built a prototype distribution truck with a significantly reduced kerb weight.

The Future Truck Chassis Concept (FTCC) uses new chassis design technology, lightweight materials and components to shave 500kg off a conventional 12-tonne LF vehicle.

Built by Leyland Trucks, working with Sapa Profiles UK and CSA Group, the project was co-funded by Innovate UK and aimed to increase payload at a lower fuel consumption and reduce CO2 emissions.

The FTCC research project features a number of new design concepts to improve transport efficiency. These include an extensive use of aluminium extrusions for an optimal ratio between weight and stiffness; patented front underrun protection is mounted on a newly designed front frame module, which is attached to the side members; and a body floor structure integrated in the chassis frame design, by incorporating the body sub frame into the main chassis side members.

In addition to weight saving measures, the project included a number of other advanced vehicle features such as independent front air suspension with rack and pinion steering, to investigate its benefits in terms of ride quality, steering precision and vehicle packaging improvements.

Leyland Trucks senior engineer Rob Lawton, who led the project team, said: ‘Light weighting is at the heart of our global efforts to reduce fuel consumption and thus emissions. Increasing payload without loss of vehicle integrity is fundamental to that process. Our FTCC project has achieved our objectives: a 30% weight saving focused on the components used in the main truck chassis frame, body under structure, front suspension and steering.”

Daf said its FTCC is “first of all a study model, which won’t be on the market on short notice”. However, it shows innovations which might be considered for the future if financially feasible as well.

The truck will be displayed at a variety of international events (including CENEX LCV at Millbrook in September) to demonstrate the technological advances it incorporates.