The heavy goods vehicle (HGV) sector is calling for an urgent government strategy to drive uptake of zero emission trucks, amid concerns over poor EV and hydrogen infrastructure.
New analysis published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) revealed that HGV electric and hydrogen models account for just one in 600 trucks on UK roads.
It also revealed that Britain’s motorways and A roads have “not a single” HGV-dedicated electric charging or hydrogen filling point. According to the SMMT, this could put emissions saving of up to 21.1m tonnes a year at risk.
The sector is concerned about so-called ‘charging anxiety,’ which is particularly felt with time-sensitive or long-haul journeys. Delivering public infrastructure, they argue, would prompt operators to invest in decarbonising.
The SMMT has therefore called for a government strategy within 12 months, which improves incentives for operators to encourage investment in zero emission trucks.
Ben Foulser, UK head of future mobility for KPMG, said: “Whilst progress is being made, there are still some key issues to address if the UK is to cement itself as one of the most ambitious nations globally to decarbonise its land transport fleet.”
He added that UK roadside charging infrastructure for HGVs is “lagging behind the likes of EV car charging provision. Solving all of these issues requires a package of innovative public and private sector funding and financing solutions.”
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “With just over a decade until the UK begins to phase out new diesel trucks, we cannot afford to delay a strategy that will deliver the world’s first decarbonised HGV sector.
“A successful transition requires a long-term plan to drive the rollout of a dedicated UK-wide HGV charging and fueling network, combined with world-leading incentives to encourage uptake and attract model allocation – a plan that will keep a greener Britain on the move and globally competitive.”
A Department for Transport spokesperson told City A.M.: “We are working closely with industry to support the rollout of zero emission HGVs on our roads, and we will be investing in projects to support that following our successful £20m pilot.”