LowCVP to target reducing truck emissions

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The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership is looking to help heavy goods operators reduce emissions as it exhibits at next week's Freight in the City event.

In earlier work, the LowCVP has identified three main opportunities for cutting emissions from HGVs which pointed to the need for specific interventions: independent testing to validate the effectiveness of retrofit technology; conversion to the use of natural gas/biomethane; and supporting the uptake of hybrid and pure electric vehicles, particularly for use in urban environments.

One of the key opportunities identified in earlier LowCVP work for cutting carbon from HGVs in the UK was to increase the uptake of existing retrofit technology by operators in the market. Independent verification of the performance of technologies and a credible assessment of the applicability of equipment to different operational environments were identified as key requirements.

A test process has already been developed and is ready for peer review and launch. The next phase will be to develop an umbrella accreditation process for approving/certifying low carbon technologies for HGV applications. The scheme will also assess the operational characteristics of the technologies, and their applicability, for potential operators.

The scheme will provide test results and recommendations to DfT/OLEV for stimulating uptake. Its test protocol has many potential future applications in the evaluation of cleaner truck technologies.

The LowCVP is also managing a new test programme for the Department for Transport to benchmark the latest gas trucks for emissions including methane, carbon dioxide (CO2) and NOx, and fuel consumption.

The project will compare the performance and emissions of gas vehicles (both OEM and retrofit conversions) with their direct diesel counterparts in a consistent manner using the latest PEMS equipment run over repeatable, realistic and representative track cycles. The outputs from the project will provide the comprehensive evidence-base needed on gas use in HGVs for the formation of long-term government policy options in this sector.

Andy Eastlake, LowCVP's managing director, said: "In terms of road transport, most of the focus in recent years has been on cutting emissions from cars and buses. Road freight in vans and trucks is responsible for around 35% of the UK’s total road CO2 emissions and there are plenty of opportunities for the sector to make a real contribution to the UK’s climate targets – as well as helping to cut operators’ costs and contribute to improvements in air quality.”

Rachael Dillon, climate change policy manager at the Freight Transport Association said: “Operators want better options for reducing carbon emissions from HGVs.  New opportunities for after-market technologies and further emissions testing for gas and biomethane vehicles can help identify the best steps to decarbonising the sector.”

Laura Hailstone, Freight in the City project manager, said: “It’s fantastic to see the LowCVP calling on freight operators to contribute to creating a market for low carbon trucks.

“Freight in the City is focused on enabling urban deliveries to be made as cleanly as possible but there remains little choice for operators in the market for alternative fuelled commercial vehicles. Our partnership with the LowCVP at the Freight in the City Expo is a welcome step toward to opening up a strong dialogue between the freight industry and the low carbon technology providers.”

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