Is the decarbonisation of HGV fleets realistic given the time scales and the cost?

The topic of commercial vehicles and road freight decarbonisation is heating up and there will be a one-day conference at the end of this month in Birmingham at the Tyseley Energy Park.

We have posted before about hydrogen fuel and how that has to potential to drive the haulage industry into a carbon-neutral future and this conference will give attendees the opportunity to see first-hand, Hydrogen refuelling, electric charging and HVO refuelling.

HVO (Hydrotreated vegetable oil) is a renewable diesel, an alternate approach to becoming carbon neutral for the road haulage industry.

The Tyseley Refuelling Hub is the first multi-fuel low and zero-carbon refuelling hub in the UK providing a combination of refuelling stations for the fleet of Hydrogen Fuelled Doubledecker Buses Birmingham City Council has bought to help reduce carbon emissions in the City.

This hydrogen station will be able to generate a tonne of hydrogen per day. When hydrogen is used in a fuel cell, it returns to water vapour, meaning this is a very clean fuel option.

The HVO fuel at this station is provided by one of the leading UK manufacturers Gbf, made from renewable feedstocks reducing harmful emissions by up to 80/90%. They are already supplying many of the UK’s fleets including some of the largest machinery in the construction industry.

HGVs make up 19% of the total domestic transport emissions and the conversation remains that lorries will become part of the carbon fuel transport bans by 2040. The issue remains that the batteries for HGVs are so large, that there are still not enough charging points and the range of the batteries won’t be cost-efficient for current UK delivery timetables.

The other major obstacle is also the prices of the new electric HGVs, a diesel would cost between £80-£100,000 and an electric counterpart would be double this coming in at around £200,000. Most of the Road Haulage industry is still in recovery mode from Brexit and Covid and claims not to have the capital to invest in a new fleet.

Tevvas Essex facility saw its first electric and hydrogen trucks roll off the assembly line in September this year, the 7.5t Tevva Truck was handed over to Kinaxia Logistics, a leading logistics and warehouse group operating in the UK.

Its great that Essex, also the home of Axiom Recruitment is at the heart of decarbonisation of the haulage industry.