Gas-powered HGVs: ‘jigsaw needs completing’, says Gasrec29 February 2016

All the parts of the jigsaw are in place for the UK’s introduction of natural gas-powered heavy goods vehicles, but lack of government support is preventing the picture from taking shape.

So says Gasrec, which is congratulating natural gas campaigner NGV Global on 30 years of “tireless” championing of the benefits of the fuel as an alternative, low-emission, safe and available fuel for transport.

But, says Gasrec, the UK is “seriously lagging behind” many other developed countries – in Europe, there are already 1.2 million natural gas-powered vehicles in use.

“We have been greatly encouraged by NGV Global’s excellent work in Europe and internationally. But we believe the UK government could do more to benefit from the environmental and health benefits of natural gas, as there are still only a relatively small number of NGVs on UK roads,” says Rob Wood, Gasrec’s CEO (pictured).

“For heavier commercial vehicles in particular, this is the only viable low-emission fuel available today capable of improving air quality and reducing emissions.”

This year could prove pivotal for air quality, Gasrec believes. “Against a backdrop of inquiries into diesel emissions and air quality generally, the government will be delivering its fifth carbon budget looking forward to 2030s, while the European Commission will be considering suitability of the UK’s recent Air Quality Plan along with its proposal to deliver a fleet of new Clean Air Zones across the country,” says Wood.

“As a result, Gasrec would strongly urge the UK government, and involved regional administrations including London, to consider the environmental and health benefits that natural gas vehicles would bring to major cities and the wider road network.

“All the parts of the jigsaw are in place – vehicle manufacturers, fleet operators and fuel infrastructure providers have all prepared for the introduction of gas-powered vehicles, but the lack of meaningful public sector encouragement and support is regrettably stalling the market.”

Laura Cork

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