FTA calls upon government for action to boost gas HGVs 13 March 2014

Government must act now on the recommendations of the DfT's (Department for Transport) Low Emission HGV Task Force to increase the use of biomethane in HGVs.

So says the FTA (the Freight Transport Association), which points to the critical need to incentivise and support gas trucks for commercial transport.

FTA climate change policy manager Rachael Dillon says that many more gas powered HGVs – fuelled either by LNG (liquefied natural gas) or CNG (compressed natural gas) and ultimately biomethane – will ensure that the freight sector can contribute to national government carbon reduction targets.

An increase in the utilisation of gas HGVs would also help improve air quality in towns and cities, she insists.

But only by embarking on a programme of serious action will gas trucks move from small-scale niche to mainstream use, she adds.

"The recent commitment by government on the duty differential for gas provides much needed confidence for the freight industry to invest in dual fuel and dedicated gas vehicles," comments Dillon.

"However, there is a lack of public refuelling infrastructure for gas vehicles, which limits progress. Additionally, biomethane supplies need to be secured for the transport sector."

Dillon makes the point that, with the cost of installing a refuelling station being up to £1 million, many companies – particularly small operators – are currently prevented from investing in gas.

She also says that, for as long as the system for incentivising the use of biomethane remains focused on heating and electricity sectors, potential gas suppliers to the freight industry are going to look elsewhere.

So more needs to be done, she says, to break down the existing barriers to gas truck take up, and make the transformation happen.

"It is vital that we now build momentum and ensure that the recommendations transfer into actions," says Dillon.

Author
Brian Tinham

Related Companies
Freight Transport Association Ltd

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