LoCITY can help small businesses keep pace with emissions regulations, says FSB

The industry-led LoCITY programme is offering practical help for local independent businesses looking to keep pace with emissions regulations in London, according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

Denise Beedell, FSB development manager for Greater London, said the impartial guidance provided by LoCITY will help time-pressed small business owners make informed vehicle buying decisions.

“Quite contrary to popular belief, most small business owners aren’t against environmental improvements. Indeed, many go into business because they want to do things better than the corporate world,” she said.

“But at the end of the day, they are there to make a profit and one of the hardest parts of people embracing more sustainable attitudes and behaviours in their own operations is the huge challenge of obtaining relevant and timely information.”

The FSB is a national organisation that represents the interests of small and micro businesses, using evidence-based campaigning to help influence policy-makers and politicians.

In London, the FSB engages regularly with stakeholders like TfL and City Hall on key policies such as the mayor’s Draft Transport Strategy and the Ultra Low Emission Zone.

Beedell said her London-based members fully recognise the need to support air quality proposals to improve the health of those living and working in the capital.

“But equally, and this is where my job comes in, I need to talk to the policy-makers to make sure the small business community aren’t the ones who have to bear a disproportionate burden of costs to pay for all these aspirations. Let’s get a fair deal,” she added.

LoCITY will therefore play a vital role in helping small business owners invest wisely in their business vehicles and give them the information they need to make informed choices.

“Providing the right information and guidance are really, really important,” said Beedell. “Because they simply don’t have time to do the research. They also don’t have the experience or expertise to understand things the way a fleet manager in a large distribution company may do.”

She added: “LoCITY provides a really positive, independent forum to put forward sensible information that has been checked out. It’s trusted; it’s not trying to sell things to people and aligns with what the FSB does.”

Beedell will be speaking at the LoCITY annual conference, which this year takes place at Freight in the City Expo in London on 7 November.

Register today for your free place!

Tevva Motors and Aquafuel amongst Low Carbon award winners

The commercial vehicle sector was recognised at last week’s Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership Low Carbon Champion Awards held at the Energy 2017 at Birmingham NEC.

Now in their seventh year, the awards aim to celebrate the achievements of organisations and individuals who are leading the way towards low-emission road transport in the UK.

Tevva Motors’ range-extended electric truck scooped the SME award for low carbon innovation, which it jointly shared with Aquafuel Research.

While the judges also awarded the Cross River Partnership the title of Low Carbon Road Transport Initiative of the Year for its FREVUE project that explored the viability of electric freight vehicles in real-life urban operations.

CNG Fuels won the Fuel Initiative of the Year Award for its work on introducing a grid-connected CNG site at Leyland now used by the likes of John Lewis Group.

Both Iveco and Volvo Group were finalists for the Low Carbon Heavy Duty Vehicle Manufacturer title, which was won by bus firm BYD, while operators Martin Brower and London Borough of Hackney reached finalist stage for the operator accolade.

The Grand Prix – or winner of winners – award was presented to TfL, BYD (bus manufacturer) and Go-Ahead London (bus operator) for their partnership in delivering the vehicles, operational capacity and infrastructure to begin running London’s first two all-electric bus routes.

Fraikin’s compliance and technology guidebooks available at Freight in the City Expo

Fraikin will be giving away free printed copies of its latest ‘What You Need to Know’ guidebooks at next month’s Freight in the City Expo in London.

They have been designed to help commercial fleet operators stay up-to-date with key legislative issues and changing technology in the road transport industry.

The ‘Sustainable Transport and Clean Air’ guidebook is essential reading for operators working in an urban environment, according to the rental and fleet management firm, and will help inform them ahead of crucial fleet investment decisions.

It includes topics such as Euro-6 and beyond, ultra-low-emission zones and future fuels, and gives details of where operators can turn to for independent advice.

“It’s clear to many in the sector that the road transport industry has to become more environmentally aware than it is at present,” Fraikin sales director Colin Melvin told Freightinthecity.com.

“Operators with urban fleets understand this most, with a myriad of legislation coming into effect that will directly affect their operations.”

He added: “At Fraikin, we work hard to be ahead of this curve, offering fleet solutions that suit the requirements of any customer operating in an urban environment.”

The second guide available at the show will be ‘What You Need to Know on Vehicle Safety’ and will include information about recent developments such as the proposed direct vision standard in London, as well as refreshers and best practice surrounding the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974.

Both 12-page guides are also available to download free of charge.

Fraikin said the new guidebooks revive a popular series of booklets it produced a decade ago on essential topics such as Driver CPC and digital tachographs, which saw tens of thousands of copies requested by fleets.

Further guidebooks in the range will be published later this year.


Fleet Source to focus on safe, low-emission driving skills at Freight in the City Expo

Training firm Fleet Source will be on hand at this year’s Freight in the City Expo to talk to delegates about its range of urban driving courses for commercial vehicle drivers.

LoCITY Driving, for example, is a Fors and DVSA-approved course that helps van and HGV drivers learn techniques to help mitigate their vehicles’ environmental impact on urban areas.

It focuses on the link between driving styles and fuel efficiency, journey planning, and alternative fuels.

Training is delivered as a one-day classroom-based course, complemented by separate e-learning modules for drivers and transport managers. It also counts towards a driver’s CPC requirement.

Other Fleet Source driver training courses include Safe Urban Driving, Van Smart and TruckSmart, which are all Fors-approved.

This year’s free-to-attend Freight in the City Expo will take place on Tuesday 7 November at Alexandra Palace, London.

It features a full day’s seminar programme, with an exciting exhibition of the latest urban vehicles, equipment and technology emerging onto the market to make deliveries cleaner, safer and quieter.

The expo will also be hosting TfL’s LoCITY progress event, which is an industry-led, five-year programme to increase understanding and uptake of low-emission commercial vehicles.

“We are thrilled to be involved in this year’s Freight in the City Expo,” said Nick Caesari, MD at Fleet Source. “The event provides a great opportunity to share our commitment to helping the commercial sector to reduce it’s impact on the environment.”

He added: “As London grows, so does traffic congestion and air pollution. This has a major and damaging impact on public health. Nearly 9,500 people die early each year in London because of poor air quality.

“Our LoCITY Driving course features classroom-based modules to help drivers and transport managers reduce the environmental impact of commercial vehicles.”

Cenex to showcase low emission projects at Freight in the City Expo

Cenex will be demonstrating its expertise on the low emission alternatives to medium and heavy goods vehicles by showcasing three of its key projects: ACCRA, Triumph and Dedicated to Gas.

Cenex will also display its offerings in real-world data collection, trial management/delivery, report writing and dissemination – aimed at fleet managers and any organisation with a fleet of medium and heavy goods vehicles.

Project ACCRA is a collaboration between Leeds City Council, Cenex, the Transport Systems Catapult, EarthSense, Dynniq, and Tevva Motors.

It showcases smart-city technology applications that demonstrate real-time emissions control, using live air-quality data to trigger electric hybrid engines to automatically switch to zero-emission mode in heavily polluted areas.

Dedicated to Gas involves trialling over 80 vehicles, ranging from 12-tonnes to 44-tonnes, between a number of logistics fleets such as Asda, Great Bear Distribution, Wincanton and Kuehne + Nagel.

The project will judge the viability of operating spark-ignited natural gas vehicles from an economic, environmental, logistical and fleet management perspective by tracking truck movements and fuel use, and undertaking portable emissions testing (PEMS).

Triumph, managed by Kuehne + Nagel, will involve running low emission trucks in urban-delivery scenarios.

A variety of drive trains will be tested, including range-extended vehicles, battery electric vehicles and unique Dearman liquid nitrogen-fuelled vehicles. The project aims to map the levels of urban pollution.

Cenex is already heavily involved in HGV trials and can offer knowledge sharing opportunities and access to a large network of industry contacts.

To find out more about Cenex’s services or current projects, come and talk to one of our representatives on stand S04.

Daimler launches all-electric Fuso eCanter truck in New York

Daimler has globally launched its all-electric truck in New York City, marking the vehicle’s entrance to the US, European and Japanese markets.

The Fuso eCanter has a range of 100kms and payload of around three tonnes.

Daimler hopes to deliver 500 eCanter units in the next two years, with a view to ramping up production in 2019.

Production of the trucks began in Tramagal, Portugal earlier this year, after trials of pre-series vehicles in the country and Germany between 2014 and 2017.

The truck made its UK debut at the Freight in the City Expo last year.

Speaking at the launch, Mitsubishi truck and bus corporation president Marc Llistosella, said: “In times, when everybody is talking about electric trucks, we are the first to actually commercialize a series produced all-electric truck.

“Having a long history in alternative drivetrains, we are proud to step into this new era. Our Fuso eCanter comes with years of customer testing, and the assurance of parts, services, and warranty through our global Fuso dealership network.”

He added: “Our new Fuso eCanter now addresses the increasing global demand for products to meet and exceed high CO2 emission standards. It offers an attractive and cost-effective alternative to combustion engines and makes electric trucks key to the future of inner city distribution.”

At the global launch in New York, Daimler announced UPS would be the first commercial partner for the electric truck.

UPS president of global fleet maintenance and engineering Carlton Rose said: “At UPS, we constantly evaluate and deploy advanced technologies that enable sustainable, innovative solutions for our fleet.

“Electric trucks make our fleet both cleaner and quieter, adding to our already more than 8,500 alternative drivetrain vehicles in service today.

“We have a long-standing global relationship with Daimler, and we welcome the opportunity to trial the Fuso eCanter as UPS continues to realize the benefits of electric trucks.”

It will also supply vehicles to a range of not-for-profit organisations including the Wildlife Conservation Society and Habitat for Humanity.

Operators and manufacturers give thumbs up to DfT driving licence proposal to aid alternative fuel vans

Operators and manufacturers have given strong support for a DfT proposal, currently under consultation, to allow category B (car) licence holders to operate heavier vans if they are fitted with alternative fuel systems.

It has been welcomed by those firms wishing to increase their use of low-emission delivery vehicles without losing out on payload or needing to acquire a category C licence.

The DfT proposes that standard licence holders be allowed to drive vans weighing up to 4.25 tonnes if they are powered by electricity, natural gas, LPG or hydrogen.

It says this will help level the playing field by addressing the payload penalty that puts operators of cleaner vans at a commercial disadvantage compared with conventional vehicles.

Launching the consultation, transport minister Jesse Norman said: “We want to make it easier for businesses to opt for cleaner vehicles, and these proposals are designed to do just that.”

Road traffic estimates show there has been a rapid rise in HGV traffic over the past 20 years. In 2016 vans clocked up 49.1 billion miles – an increase of 23% when compared with 2006.

Ocado head of fleet Stuart Skingsley said: “At Ocado, we are keen to incorporate the latest low-emission technologies in our vehicle fleet, but we have been unable to do so due to the extra weight of the technology and category B licence restrictions.

“This vital derogation would allow us to field the latest alternatively fuelled vans, reducing harmful emissions and improving the UK’s air quality.”

Payload is paramount

Iveco alternative fuels director Martin Flach told Freightinthecity.com that customers are increasingly looking at low-emission vans. However, for those operating 3.5-tonne vehicles, payload remains paramount, and this has resulted in a lower take-up of alternatively fuelled vehicles.

“As a key alternative fuels vehicle manufacturer that believes in sustainable transport, Iveco has been campaigning on this for several years, so we’re delighted with the proposal that has been made,” he added.

“If the plan is accepted, we believe it would boost the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles and improve air quality. The vehicles are available, we just need the government to ensure businesses are being given the opportunity to make the most of them.”

His view was echoed by Chris Jones, head of sales at electric vehicle manufacturer BD Auto (vehicle pictured), who told Freightinthecity.com he was pleased the UK was considering a proposal already in place across other European countries.

“In the UK, we are lagging behind our European counterparts, and if we are to address the issues of air quality in our cities then action must be taken to remove any barriers to adopting electric commercial vehicles.”

He added: “Many of our customers welcome the proposal and several 
have already lobbied the government on these reforms in order to place electric commercial vehicles on to their fleets.”

Phil Eaves, director of supply chain at organic food delivery specialist Farmdrop, said: “Under these proposed changes, more businesses will be able to satisfy the demand for home deliveries without dirtying the air.

“As the only online grocery company to operate an electric-only fleet, access to larger vehicles would be beneficial to Farmdrop as we can make more deliveries with fewer vehicles,” he added.

Feeling the weight

Gas supply firm Gasrec has also been lobbying for the government to allow extra weight to accommodate alternative fuel technology, and welcomes the proposal.

CEO Rob Wood said: “The driving licensing regime reduces the driver pool available for alternative-fuelled HGVs as they often marginally exceed the 3.5-tonne licence limit for category B licence holders. This places a cost and operational burden on the adoption of new technology despite the wide availability of suitable vehicles.

He added: “These vehicles have the potential to make a significant contribution to improving air quality in urban areas and we support the introduction of an appropriate licence derogation to remove this adoption hurdle.”

Peter Harris, director of sustainability, Europe, UPS, admitted that it 
had been “a challenge” to deploy alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles for the range and payload that it required in the N1 vehicle and B driver licence category, because “alternative fuel systems, such as electric, affect the overall vehicle weight more negatively compared to liquid fuels such as diesel”.

He added: “Allowing operators to maintain payload at the same level as with diesel will encourage the wider adoption of alternative fuel solutions.”


FTA head of licensing, policy and compliance James Firth said that members were being consulted on the proposals.

He said some would like to invest in alternatively fuelled vans, but as a heavier vehicle is needed to move the same payload as a traditional vehicle, it pushes them over the 3.5-tonne threshold and brings with it “a raft of regulation”.

“However, many have said that compared to the cost of the vehicles, the increased regulatory burdens are not the barrier to uptake.”

Firth added: “It is also argued that, if the case can be made that vehicles up to 4.25 tonnes are safe and do not require an increased regulatory framework, then what propels that vehicle should make no difference, and let’s have that deregulation applied to all vehicles.”

The FTA now plans to consult with all its members in the coming weeks.

Van leasing provider Arval questioned whether extra permissible weight would place more responsibility on van drivers and operators.

“The question facing fleets is whether they feel it is responsible to place drivers with standard car licences into a vehicle with a mass that has previously been seen as requiring specialised training, and into something that is 750kg heavier and twice as heavy as the largest cars,” said Arval LCV consultant Eddie Parker.

“Across the fleet sector, in recent years the discussion has tended to be about whether the driving standards for larger CVs should be applied to smaller vehicles. This proposal moves things in the opposite direction.”

In order to relax driver licensing 
rules, the UK would need to seek a temporary derogation from the EU Third Driving Licence Directive. Some EU states have already done this to allow category B licence holders to drive heavier vans.

The consultation on vehicle weights also proposes to remove a current exemption for electric vehicles to undergo MoT testing. It will run until 18 October.

First vehicles now ready for £20m Low Emission Freight and Logistics Trial

Vehicles taking part in the first two projects from the government’s £20m Low Emission Freight and Logistic Trial  are now ready to hit the roads.

In January this year, funding was announced for 20 firms that came up with innovate ways to deploy more low- and zero-emission freight vehicles in UK fleets.

The first two projects – the Dedicated to Gas trial and the KERS-Urban Consortium – are now ready to roll, with the rest of the schemes to be in operation by mid-2018.

In total, more than 300 low-emission vehicles will be taking part.

Led by Air Liquide, the Dedicated to Gas trial will see large fleet operators including Kuehne + Nagel, Wincanton, Asda, Brit European, Howard Tenens and Great Bear trial the effectiveness of 81 dedicated gas-powered HGVs new to the UK market as well as five new cryogenic transport refrigeration units.

The KERS-Urban consortium will trial a new hybrid kinetic energy recovery system on 20 HGVs operated by Howdens Joinery Group and Sainsbury’s Supermarkets, including both rigid and articulated HGVs.

Supplied by Alternatech, the hybrid KERS technology (pictured) will recover energy during braking and then use the energy during acceleration, which will reduce fuel consumption and emissions, particularly in city environments.

Simon Edmonds, manufacturing and materials director at Innovate UK, said: “It is excellent news that the first two projects of this pioneering trial are now roadworthy.

“The data from these trials will be invaluable to future development and commercialisation of these low carbon technologies for low-emission freight and fleet vehicles.”

Alongside the competition, TRL have been appointed to evaluate performance of the trials and capture data on the emissions savings produced, with results to appear on a dedicated website.

John Rogerson, fleet operations manager, Asda, said: “We are excited to work with Air Liquide and our other project partners to hopefully demonstrate the impact low-emissions HGV technology can have on the entire industry, while infusing the latest technology into our fleet and reducing our overall carbon footprint.”

Charlie Nissen, national transport manager of Howdens Joinery Group, said: “The trailer KERS innovation allows us to be involved in the forefront of a technology that could have the potential to reduce carbon emissions from HGVs, not just within Howdens, but across the industry.”



Grundon showcases ULEMCo hydrogen DAF at Cenex

Grundonw Waste Management DAF

Waste firm Grundon has taken delivery of a DAF truck converted to run on hydrogen fuel by ULEMCo.

On display at today’s Cenex show at Millbrook Bedforshire, ULEMCo said while it had previously retro-fitted a number of trucks and vans in the public sector, this was its first private sector contract and first DAF.

The project featured a new modular approach to conversion, according to ULEMCo. It has fitted a 10kg hydrogen unit to the side of the truck, an approach it said would enable it to lower the cost of future conversions.

Earlier this year, Grundon committed to reducing all greenhouse gas emissions from its vehicles to net zero by extending its CarbonNeutral fleet certification programme for a fourth consecutive year.

The certification means that every mile travelled by Grundon lorries and cars is officially carbon neutral.

“We are highly impressed by the potential of hydrogen dual-fuel to reduce our carbon footprint as well as reducing costs in the future,” said Grundon’s group logistics manager, John Stephens.

“The synergy of combining the use of hydrogen-fuelled vehicles with the potential production of hydrogen from waste treatment processes makes it especially compelling.”

Scotland to phase out diesel and petrol vans by 2032

Scotland plans to phase out petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032, eight years ahead of the UK government’s target.

Announcing the Scottish Government’s legislative programme for the coming year, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon laid out plans to take the lead in promoting the use of ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs), with a target to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032.

The programme also announced plans to “massively expand” electric charging, accelerate procurement of ULEVs in the public and private sectors and make the A9 Scotland’s first fully electric-enabled road.

The legislative programme also revealed plans to create a Low Emissions Zone (LEZ) “in one of Scotland’s cities” by the end of next year as well as creating  low emissions zones in Scotland’s four biggest cities by 2020 and in all Air Quality Management Areas by 2023.

Plans also include a new climate change bill next year, setting out “even more ambitious” targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Sturgeon said.

A £60m innovation fund will also be set up to encourage climate change solutions such as electricity battery storage, sustainable heating systems and electric vehicles charging.

Sturgeon said the measures would “send a clear signal that Scotland is the place for innovation in digital and low carbon technology.”