Freight Week Announcements

24 / 10 / 2023  |  Blogs

The Government has recently made a series of announcements which affect the commercial freight sector as part of ‘Freight Week’, an initiative which aims to understand how the sector can transition to net zero, drive innovation and create new jobs. We’ve summarised the key points to help make sense of how these updates may impact you and your drivers.

investment into zero emission trucks
Infrastructure demonstrator programme

The Department for Transport has released £200m from the zero emission heavy goods vehicle (HGV) and Infrastructure demonstrator programme originally announced in May 2022. The investment will not only ensure that more zero emissions trucks are hitting the UK’s roads, it will also provide essential supporting infrastructure. Included will be the development of 57 refuelling and electric charging sites, and the rollout of 370 zero emission HGVs, a crucial step in reducing their carbon footprint.

This demonstrator programme should provide the sector with the real-world information it is waiting for on how different technology solutions perform in live use cases, answering some of the practical questions operators have. As such it is going to be very important for businesses looking to set out long term strategy to reach 2040, when all new sales of HGV will be zero emission.

Image of DAF truck
Share your views – infrastructure for zero emission HGVs and coaches

The Government has issued a call for evidence that seeks information about zero emission HGVs and coaches and their refuelling and recharging requirements. They are particularly interested in the views of fleet operators, asking questions around which zero emission technologies have you considered, which you think will work best for your business, your assessment of the current technology and what your infrastructure requirements are likely to be.

This is a fantastic opportunity to help shape the development of the Government’s strategy for zero emission HGV and coach infrastructure, due in 2024. We are working with industry bodies on a response to the consultation, due to close on 14th December, and want to hear your views so we can ensure all voices are heard.

Read more here

Lastly, in case you have missed it, the Government has released a response to the consultation published on changes to driving licence flexibility to support the uptake of zero emission vehicles between 3,500kg and 4,250kg.

Government‘s proposed changes to legislation are to:

  • change the types of powertrains eligible for the licence flexibility, from alternatively-fuelled to zero emission vehicles only
  • expand the legislation to all vehicles eligible to be driven on a standard licence
  • allow drivers to use the flexibility to tow a trailer in line with the rules for other vehicles
  • remove the 5-hour training requirement.
Read more here
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