In response to Nick Cleggs’ announcement of funding and his subsequent call to industry for a call for evidence, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has said it is keen to emphasise the need for financial support for the freight sector to invest in alternative low carbon fuels and technologies in Government’s call for evidence on allocating £500 million of funding for ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs).
Over the summer, Government announced that this funding was to be committed between 2015 and 2020 to increase the uptake of ULEVs. However funding to date has been very much limited to cars and vans. To date, just £6.5 million has been allocated to HGVs to help fleet operators to utilise alternative fuels and low carbon technologies.
Rachael Dillon, FTA Climate Change Policy Manager said,
“FTA would like Government to realise that heavy goods vehicles have just the same challenges as cars in decarbonising, but to date the freight has been largely sidelined; it may be keen to move our cars to electric but the freight sector also urgently needs funding support too. Gas and ultimately biomethane is a viable option for reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality for HGVs, but the expense of vehicle conversions and lack of public refuelling infrastructure means that the market is struggling to take off.”
HGVs provide a vital role in delivering the goods for our economy and should have more funding incentives for alternatives such as gas to help the freight sector contribute to carbon reduction. A recent strategy from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles acknowledges the challenges for take up of ultra low emission technologies for hgvs and Government’s commitment to look further at incentives for the sector. The Association therefore urges OLEV to put freight at the top of its funding priority list.
FTA will summit a full response to the call for evidence which closes on 10 January 2014.