The FTA has said that the £4 million government investment to provide publically accessible gas refuelling points for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) across the UK – is good news for the freight industry.
The announcement made by Transport Minister Baroness Kramer today, outlined details of the £4m fund to help refuel gas-powered trucks which would give businesses who use them the flexibility to refuel en-route, rather than having to specifically plan journeys between refuelling stations.
Rachael Dillon – FTA’s Climate Change Policy Manager commented: “Gas offers a viable way for operators to switch to alternative fuels to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality especially on long trunking journeys where electric and hybrid technology is impractical. Currently, there are limited number of public refuelling stations for operators to refuel gas HGVs. This is one of the major factors preventing the market from taking off. ”
FTA put forward a submission to OLEV in early 2014 calling for financial support for the HGV sector to help invest in alternative fuels and technologies that will reduce carbon emissions and help improve air quality.
The Association has said that an increase in gas refuelling infrastructure will enable operators without their own refuelling facilities to use gas vehicles and allow those who tend to refuel at base to operate more efficiently and cover larger trip distances.
FTA stated that a commitment from Government for funding will also give operators reassurance to invest and makes a stronger business case for dual fuel gas or dedicated gas vehicles which are significantly more expensive than conventional diesel.
Ms Dillon added: “We look forward to working with OLEV as the funding project progresses. Naturally, we would also like to see a larger proportion of funding for ultra-low emission vehicles for freight to enable the sector to reduce emissions, given its vital role in delivering the goods for our economy and look forward to further announcements.”