The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has published its Better Delivery: The Challenge For Freight report, which recommends government ministers plans should be set out to ban new petrol and diesel HGVs by 2040.
In the report, the NIC has called on ministers to set out plans within the next two years to ban petrol and diesel sales, which should be facilitated by preparing infrastructure so that there is a clear pathway to the transition of vehicles powered by hydrogen or battery electric fuel solutions.
Reductions in emissions are vital in future, not only for greater efficiency in fleets, but also for improved health and safety from the threat toxic air poses to the general public.
In the Better Delivery: The Challenge For Freight report, the Chairman of the NIC, Sir John Armitt, makes it clear that freight operators need the development of hydrogen and battery HGVs so that they can be assured they have the confidence to invest in green technologies.
As it stands, more environmentally friendly HGVs will be commercially available early next decade, but the Better Delivery: The Challenge For Freight report also suggests that the ban on sales on diesel HGVs should be part of a wider strategy to support road and rail freight businesses to be carbon-free by 2050, while also easing road congestion.
The freight industry on Britain’s roads and railways is responsible for approximately 9% of greenhouse gas emissions; if the problem isn’t addressed, this will rise to 20% by 2050.
Given that profit margins are ever more vulnerable, advanced planning is vital, according to the report.
However, this will be rendered useless if the government doesn’t act; therefore, the NIC recommend ministers should use the next two years to make plans on how to ban all sales of new petrol and diesel HGVs by 2040, and start to prepare the nation’s infrastructure for the transition to greener, cleaner fleets.