SMMT welcomes government support for HGV move to gas

13 March 2014 #SMMT News
  • Industry task force instrumental in delivery of forward-looking fuel move for heavy trucks.
  • Operators could benefit from lower fuel costs and improved CO2 emissions.
  • Diversifying fuel options delivers improved energy security.
  • Greater uptake of gas power could see air quality improvements.

Today, the Department for Transport (DfT) published papers and recommendations setting out plans to facilitate HGV vehicles’ move to biomethane/natural gas as a lower carbon fuel option.

This follows a series of recommendations made by The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and its members as part of the Low Emission HGV Task Force. This group fed into DfT decision makers throughout the process of evaluating the latest set of proposals.

As part of a range of new and emerging technologies, SMMT and the Task Force consider the use of natural gas and biomethane in HGVs as an important part of reducing carbon emissions from freight operations. This option is particularly important in the regional and long-distance freight sectors, where there are a limited number of realistic technological options for substantial CO2 reduction in the short to medium-term.

In 2012, SMMT led a report by the Low Emission HGV Task Force that set the groundwork for these recommendations.

“Delivering certainty for investment in this alternative fuel is crucial to its development over the coming years,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive. “Now, with government support, investment in the necessary infrastructure, vehicle and technology developments can be made with greater confidence.”

In the 2013 Autumn Statement, the Chancellor acknowledged the need to incentivise a move to gas to help reduce emissions from HGVs. His guarantee to ensure a duty differential for gas against the price of diesel until 2024 marked an important step that secured the business case for gas.

Throughout its liaison with government, the Task Force made clear the benefits of increasing the use of natural gas and biomethane. Beyond CO2 reductions, there are wider benefits including lower fuel costs for operators, improved energy security (through less reliance on diesel) and potential reductions in air pollution.

Click through to view the full report and recommendations.

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