COP26: Heavy goods vehicles decarbonisation a 'clear signal' for greening logistics

The government’s decision to make all new heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) in the country zero emission by 2040 has been welcomed as a positive sign of progress in decarbonising the logistics industry.

The move, first proposed in the Transport Decarbonisation Plan published over the summer and confirmed at the transport-themed day at COP26 in Glasgow, would come ten years after the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans ends. And by 2035, the government says there will be no new “non-zero emission” HGVs weighing 26 tonnes and under.

Greg Archer, UK director at NGO Transport & Environment, hailed the decision as a “win-win” for the economy and the environment. “The technology to power trucks without burning fuel is maturing and costs are falling,” he said. "By placing the UK at the front of the queue we are not only addressing the climate emergency but will also [be] helping to clean up toxic urban air whilst creating new businesses and jobs.”

Mike Hawes, chief executive of motor industry body SMMT, said it was a clear signal for decarbonisation but noted that it would be a "major challenge" to truck manufacturers and others involved in the transition.

“Manufacturers are investing billions in new technologies including battery electric, fuel cell, hydrogen and other alternative fuels to ensure road transport plays its part in delivering net zero. But there is no single technological solution for every service HGVs perform, from delivering goods to supermarkets or removing refuse, to hauling minerals from quarries or cement to construction sites."

He said the key enabler would be a dedicated HGV infrastructure "for which we still await any plan".

Olly Craughan, CSR head at DPDgroup UK, said he totally supported the move but noted that supply would need to match demand. “We would urge all parties involved in the supply of alternative green HGVs to press the fast-forward button on their development plans so businesses like ourselves can make the transition as soon as possible.”

However, Gerry Keaney, chief executive of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association welcomed the government’s intention to “consult on derogations”.

On the same day, 13 MPs in the Conservative Environment Network called for more domestic support to boost electric vehicle charging, and public and active transport. 

They asked the government to use planning reform to incorporate public charge point provision in councils’ local plans, to develop national guidance to join up isolated off-road cycling and walking routes and to make ‘20-minute neighbourhoods’ central to planning policy by amending the National Planning Policy Framework.

Related Environmental Services

Powered by ENDS Directory

Compliance Search

Discover all ENDS content in one place, including legislation summaries to keep up to date with compliance deadlines

Compliance Deadlines

Plan ahead with our Calendar feature highlighting upcoming compliance deadlines

Most-read articles

Principal Planner

Leeds is a fast growing city and the main driver of a city region with a £64.6 billion economy.

Officer 2 Environment Team x 2

Sustainable Management of Natural Resources

Environment Team Leader

If you want a role that offers variety and challenge, and to be a part of an organisation that has the sustainable management of natural resources at the core of our purpose, we would love to hear from you.

Non-Executive Member to the Office for Environmental Protection

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) is seeking to appoint a Non-Executive Member to the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP).

Installations Officer - Control of Major Accidents Hazards (COMAH)

We are looking for two enthusiastic professionals to join our North West Hub Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) Regulatory team as Installations Officers.

Installation Officer

If you’re part of the Environment Agency (EA), you’re part of the solution. Working with us means protecting and improving the environment for generations to come, tackling issues of national importance across a huge variety of disciplines.

Sustainable Development Programme Manager

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a driven and motivated individual to join a forward thinking and dynamic Directorate within Public Health Wales.