Planning required to avoid electric shock in the HGV sector

  • On November 18 Boris Johnson, The Prime Minister announced that new petrol and diesel cars and vans will not be allowed to be sold in the UK from 2030, just ten years away.

    But what does that mean for the HGV sector?


    Currently the statement only covers cars and vans and there is no mention of large commercial vehicles, however it is our understanding that the Government are considering a similar scheme for diesel HGVs, with the likelihood that it will follow ten years later.

    In response to the Government’s statement which is part of their Ten Point Plan on Reaching Net Zero, a summary of Alex Veitch, General manager for Public Policy at Logistics UK, would include:

    • Logistics businesses fully support the government’s aim to transition to low-carbon economy, but the switch must be affordable to businesses.
    • There must be practical alternatives to petrol and diesel HGVs before these vehicles are phased out.
    • Government should work with the industry to create a long-term pathway.

    Alex Veitch concluded with a statement that we fully support here at Masters, by saying that “logistics businesses are vital to keeping the UK trading.  . . . logistics has never been more important to UK Plc”.

    Electric HGVs

    At the moment the cost of buying an electric car is more expensive than the cost of buying a similar sized petrol or diesel model and of course range is currently still an issue.  Is this going to be the same for HGVs?

    The Government has recently funded a programme called the Low Emission Freight and Logistics Trial which was a competition to ‘demonstrate new technologies and to encourage the widespread introduction of low and zero emission vehicles to UK fleets.’  Commenting on the results of the trial which were published on 18 November 2020, LowCVP Managing Director said “We’re seeing an acceleration in the rate of innovation towards lower emissions in the freight sector but there’s still a long way to go and we still need to understand the best technical option for different uses”.  You can read full results of the trial here.

    Unsurprisingly, Volta Trucks who are the leading manufacturer of electric trucks in the UK responded rather less cautiously to the Prime Minister’s announcement with Chief Executive Officer, Rob Fowler having this to say:

    “At Volta Trucks we welcome today’s announcement by the UK Government to ban the sale of internal combustion engine cars and vans by 2030, and the ambitious plan to implement the world’s second most stringent timeline, after Norway.  However, we are disappointed that there is no mention in the proposals for the ban to extend to large commercial vehicles . . .”

    From our point of view here at Masters, our people, our customers and the environment are all incredibly important to us, so this is one situation where we will be watching what unfolds carefully and ensuring we make the right decision, at the right time.  There are lots of angles to balance and it will be very interesting to see what happens next.

    To discuss your logistical requirements, please call Mervyn Jeffery today on 01353 648222.

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