New scheme to help HGV fleets ‘embrace’ low carbon technology

The Transport Minister Andrew Jones has announced that a new scheme, developed by LowCVP members, is to be rolled out to support the introduction of lower carbon, fuel saving commercial vehicle technology.

The Low Carbon Accreditation Scheme for HGV technology is designed to tackle one of the main barriers to the adoption of lower carbon, cleaner and more efficient commercial vehicles in the UK: the fact that operators don’t have a ‘go-to’ source of reliable and impartial information about low carbon, fuel saving retrofit technologies.

Andrew Jones said: “We are always looking at new ways to make the vehicles on our roads cleaner and this new scheme will help the freight industry to embrace the latest technology.

“The UK’s low emission vehicle industry is a huge success story and a source of strength in our economy. This is further proof that the Government is leading the way as global demand for these vehicles grows.”

Commercial vehicles have been contributing a rising share of road transport emissions, and now account for more than 30% of the CO2 emissions from the sector. 

While emissions from HGVs were down by around 9% in 2014 since 1990, emissions from vans have grown by 48%.

The LowCVP-led project has developed an accurate, reproducible and representative procedure for measuring the operations of trucks and vans used for carrying freight. The procedure enables equipment manufacturers or vehicle operators to conduct robust, repeatable and reliable tests to validate the impact on fuel consumption and emissions of retrofit technology, such as low rolling resistance tyres and aerodynamic additions, or engine efficiency technology, under a range of representative operating conditions.

The scheme will provide information on the operational characteristics of the technology, providing practical information to operators on its potential applicability. The test and accreditation scheme is to be focused on proving existing technology in a robust back-to-back comparison under realistic HGV operational scenarios.

Developed with support from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and the Department for Transport (DfT) and also drawing on European work on HGV carbon measurement, the scheme is being introduced following collaboration with key partners involved in the industry including: Horiba Mira, Millbrook, TRL, Michelin, Stobart Group, Mercedes Truck, Transport for London (TfL) and Transport KTN.

With the launch of the Scheme and publication of the testing guidance, project leaders will be engaging with UK operators and the HGV market to disseminate information about the Accreditation Scheme and associated test processes.

The LowCVP managing director Andy Eastlake said: “Earlier work by the LowCVP identified that the absence of reliable, robust and accessible data was one of the most significant barriers to the adoption of low carbon and fuel saving technology in trucks.

“Thanks to the work of many key partners and supporters we believe that this initiative will encourage the adoption of many positive innovations, saving carbon and costs, and can form the basis for further policy support in this vital road transport sector.”

Rachael Dillon, FTA’s climate change policy manager, said: “Adopting operational efficiency measures are key for any commercial fleet operator to improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. However too often it is difficult for companies to decipher what the best technologies are out there for them to utilise.

“We welcome and support the Low Carbon Accreditation Scheme developed by the LowCVP to help our members have confidence to invest in technologies that have been independently tested and proven to deliver fuel savings.  This accreditation scheme is essential as the sector remains under pressure to reduce fuel use in order to contribute to climate change targets and reduce air pollutants."

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