Whilst the government plans to invest £200 million in zero emission HGVs are key to finding longer term answer to reduce harmful transport emissions, a leading fuel technology firm has commented that it also highlights the need for much more immediate solutions.
Transport Minister Trudy Harrison recently announced that over £200 million of government funding will be injected into an extensive zero emission road freight demonstrator programme.
The three-year programme will begin later this year, with initial competitions for battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell technology being launched shortly. The Government says this could eventually see hundreds more zero emission HGVs on the roads.
Action needed now
But Nawaz Haq, executive director at fuel technology firm SulNOx Group Plc said that, while the investment was to be welcomed, it did nothing to tackle immediate environmental issues. SulNOx Group specialises in providing responsible solutions towards the decarbonisation of liquid hydrocarbon fuels.
“There are almost 500,000 HGVs travelling UK roads, but only a tiny proportion of these are low- or zero-emission,” said Mr Haq. “Of course, the ambition must be a move to zero emission transport, but we are a long way from that.
“The initiative launched yesterday is fantastic for the haulage industry, but it is a three-year initiative. The stark reality is that we can’t wait another minute before doing something to reduce emissions, let alone three years.”
Bridging the gap
Mr Haq said as well as investing in zero-emission technology, Government and the haulage industry should also be looking at solutions which could mitigate the problems while waiting for future technologies to mature.
“We have a solution which has been scientifically proven to significantly improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. It is already being used in the haulage industry, public transport industry and in other commercial vehicles.
“The sort of technology we have developed, and continue to develop, provide an important first step on the road to net zero.”