LowCVP points the way to future freight strategy

The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership – the stakeholder group established to accelerate the shift to low emission road transport – is overseeing a programme of robust comparative testing of the latest, most innovative commercial vehicle technologies targeted at emissions reduction and fuel saving.

While the electrification of the passenger car sector takes most of the headlines, the CV sector is often overlooked but its importance should not be understated; vans and trucks contribute over 33% of the greenhouse gas emissions from road transport.

Commissioned by Innovate – the government agency set up to drive productivity and economic growth – the LowCVP is working with key partners TRL and Millbrook, to assess the latest range of Euro VI trucks, using a representative testing process developed by Partnership experts specifically for the purpose of developing the evidence base around new CVs.

Using the new test regime, the LowCVP will help define a new category of Ultra Low Emission Trucks alongside which future incentives and policies can be based. The work will also be used to inform government policy in terms of gas-powered HGVs and will feed into discussions around the review of the fuel duty differential taking place this year.

Over the coming years gas, renewable fuels and efficiency-focused technologies such as aerodynamic aids and low rolling resistance tyres can have an immediate impact on the existing fleet.

Electric trucks are starting to appear in niche areas and volumes, but gas trucks are now capturing market share and renewable fuels are becoming increasingly attractive to companies wishing to reduce their environmental footprint.

LowCVP’s active commercial vehicle working group is collaborating across sectors and working to help shape the Government’s views on future freight strategy and the role of new vehicle and fuel technologies.

In past activity, the LowCVP worked with the Energy Saving Trust (EST) to create the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS) to bring older trucks up to the impressive, clean Euro VI standards, enabling reductions in air pollution in support of the Government’s Clean Air Zones strategy.

On the eve of the Microlise Transport Conference, LowCVP Managing Director, Andy Eastlake, said: “Rapid action in the CV sector is vital if we are to effectively tackle climate change and air pollution.

“Low emission vehicles and fuels are set to dominate the automotive markets of the future. The Government’s Clean Growth Strategy and the Industrial Strategy – both launched recently – also highlighted the vital importance of the sector to the UK’s industrial future.

“Commercial vehicles are a vital component of that strategy and are essential in today’s society. The LowCVP aims to continue to work at the centre of the discussions around accelerating progress in the freight sector.”