How to get HDVs on the road to net zero

10 December 2020 #Uncategorised

There is currently considerable uncertainty over the most cost-effective and feasible decarbonisation option for Heavy Duty Vehicles (HDVs). The Committee on Climate Change’s recommendation to set an end of sale date for HDVs at 2040 is an ambitious one, but quite a feat for all parties involved if it is to be achieved.

On the journey to this date, as OEMs introduce new products and user behaviour changes, the parc will move towards zero emission vehicles. Even so, we will need to work at pace; CCC’s latest Carbon Budget, released this week, has a Balanced Pathway that assumes that the roll-out of zero-emission HGVs will accelerate to reach nearly 100% of sales by 2040. To get there, they estimate that zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) would need to make up 96% of new sales of HGVs, buses and coaches by 2035 and there would need to be around 170,000 zero-emission HGVs and coaches (approximately 33% of the fleet) in operation by 2035.

However, to achieve this we need long-term economic and regulatory stability: this would be an ambitious target and we would all need to work together on a national strategy to achieve it. Critical to all this, of course, is the immense task of infrastructure rollout. Both operators and manufacturers need to know there is sufficient infrastructure in place to support this seismic shift in passenger and goods transport, and the sector stands ready to work with government to pave the road ahead.


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