The EU has set emissions targets for HGV manufacturers and these are likely to be adopted in the UK.
The UK has set targets to phase out non-zero emission HGVs up to 26 tonnes in 2035, and all non-zero emission HGVs by 2040.
Cities are also taking actions to reduce use of older diesel vehicles through emissions and congestion charging zones.
Fleets should stay ahead of policy in this area by trialling low and zero emission capable vehicles.
UK Emissions Targets
The main UK policy areas to be aware of are:
EU targets require HGV manufacturers to reduce fleet-wide average CO2 emissions by 15% by 2025 and 30% by 2030, compared to the EU average from July 2019 to June 2020. Also, at least 2% of new trucks sold must be low or zero emission by 2025. While the UK is no longer in the EU, UK government guidance indicates that EU emissions standards and targets will be adopted here.
The UK will phase out new, non-zero emission HGVs weighing 26 tonnes and under by 2035, with all new HGVs sold in the UK to be zero emission by 2040.
The UK government is helping industry comply with these policies. The UK Government’s Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener committed to expanding the £20 million zero emission road freight trials to trial three zero emission HGVs technologies at scale on UK roads to determine their operational benefits and infrastructure needs. The BETT project is one of these demonstrators.
The key policies are summarised on the roadmap below.
Over the last few years cities have played an increasing role in reducing road transport emissions.
Clean air zones (CAZ) are in place in several UK cities (including London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone) with more being introduced in 2022. The BVRLA has an up-to-date list of CAZs on its website. BEVs are exempt from all CAZ charges.
Scotland is currently introducing low emission zones (LEZ) in several cities, and again electric HGVs will be exempt from charges.
It is likely that cities will introduce zero emission zones in the 2020s to achieve deeper emissions cuts. Fleets should prepare for future policy changes by trialling zero emission vehicles.