The mission to get the UK’s fleet of trucks to go green is failing to take off, new figures have revealed, due to ongoing concerns about the lack of available electric or hydrogen charging points throughout the country.
Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) currently produce nearly 20 per cent of all transport emissions in the UK, despite making up only 1.5 per cent of vehicles on the road.
New figures out today show that despite the boom in electric car sales over the last few years, the country’s fleet of lorries is failing to go green.
Electric and hydrogen HGVs represented just 0.4 per cent of all new HGVs sold in the second quarter of this year, up slightly from 0.3 per cent in the first quarter, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reported today.
At end of 2022, there were 615,570 HGVs on the road, but only 967 – just 0.16 per cent – of those were zero emission vehicles. By comparison, there are approximately 1.1 million electric cars in use at the end of April, about 3 per cent of all cars on the road.
The UK trucking sector will eventually be forced to go green, with two looming bans on the sale of new petrol-guzzling HGVs – 2035 for 26 tonne HGVs and 2040 for 40 tonne HGVs.
The SMMT warned that “uptake must accelerate more quickly” if the UK’s green goals are to be achieved.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said accelerating this transition “requires dedicated HGV charging and refuelling infrastructure and incentives to encourage uptake and depot upgrades”.
“Doing so can help Britain become the world’s first decarbonised truck sector. There is no time to delay,” he said.
Michelle Gardner, deputy director of policy at Logistics UK, said there was “significant uncertainty” among its members surrounding the most suitable alternative trucks, such as battery electric or hydrogen.
“To be able to confidently invest, Logistics UK members urgently need government to begin road trials to determine what infrastructure is needed to support these alternatives and a clear plan from government on how that will be implemented,” she added.