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Emissions reduction support launched for fleets

To tackle the ongoing vehicle emissions crisis, the government has unveiled new funding and an independent testing scheme to validate the latest retrofit technologies for HGVs.

To tackle the ongoing vehicle emissions crisis, the government has unveiled new funding and an independent testing scheme to validate the latest retrofit technologies for HGVs.

As the VW car emissions scandal widens in scope, the performance of commercial vehicles, particularly HGVs, is being put under the spotlight. 

Despite only accounting for 5 per cent of vehicles on the EU’s roads, HGVs produce a quarter of the transport sector’s emissions. 

Progress flatlining

According to the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), existing and emerging low carbon technologies could make HGVs 27 per cent more fuel efficient by 2025 against a 2015 baseline.

However, there has been no notable improvement in fuel efficiency or carbon dioxide emissions from HGVs since the mid-1990s. Several major HGV manufacturers are also being investigated by the European Commission for price fixing and purposefully delaying the introduction of new low carbon technologies between 1997 and 2011.

Meanwhile, research suggests that only 20 per cent of fleet managers for small and medium sized enterprises in the UK have ever changed brands to get better fuel efficiency. 

Funding 

To help tackle the problem, transport minister, Andrew Jones, has announced £19 million in funding to help fleets cut their emissions.

The money will help commercial fleets access the very latest in innovative low and zero emission vehicle technologies. 

The funding will be open for applications from small local delivery firms as well as large distribution HGV fleets.

“We are always looking at new ways to make the vehicles on our roads cleaner, and this funding will support the freight industry to embrace the latest technology”, Jones said.

“The UK’s low emission vehicle industry is a huge success story and a source of strength in our economy. Today’s announcement is further proof that the government is leading the way as global demand for these vehicles grows.”

Accreditation scheme

The government has also announced that it will launch a low carbon HGV technology accreditation scheme to provide fleet operators with an independent validation of how much fuel they could save by adopting the latest retrofit technologies onto their vehicles.

By rating the fuel saving potential of different technologies the government hopes the scheme will help to reassure fleet operators that they will get a return on their investment. 

The schemes will be administered by the government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) through Innovate UK and are expected to launch during July 2016.