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LowCVP to focus on cutting emissions from trucks

Wed 21 October 2015 | Back to news list


To coincide with its participation in the new Freight in the City event (27 October, Alexandra Palace) the LowCVP is calling on fleet operators, local authorities and others to join forces in building the market for heavy goods vehicles which cut carbon, reduce emissions  and lower fuel costs. 

In earlier work(1), the LowCVP has identified three main opportunities for cutting emissions from HGVs which pointed to the need for specific interventions: independent testing to validate the effectiveness of retrofit technology; conversion to the use of natural gas/biomethane; and supporting the uptake of hybrid and pure electric vehicles, particularly for use in urban environments. 

The Partnership will be holding a stakeholder workshop in London on the afternoon of Monday, 30th November to progress the LowCVP’s commercial vehicle activity, including the accreditation scheme for after-market technologies as well as providing opportunities for operators and others to collaborate in a new, DfT-funded test programme to benchmark vehicles powered by natural gas/biomethane. The group will also commence activity on the specific actions needed to stimulate low carbon urban freight solutions. 

The workshop will also provide the opportunity to connect with and influence the future work programme of the LowCVP’s Commercial Vehicle Working Group, which will drive forward these and other initiatives in the freight decarbonisation area. 

One of the key opportunities identified in earlier LowCVP work for cutting carbon from HGVs in the UK was to increase the uptake of existing retrofit technology by operators in the market. Independent verification of the performance of technologies and a credible assessment of the applicability of equipment to different operational environments were identified as key requirements. 

A test process has already been developed and is ready for peer review and launch. The next phase will be to develop an umbrella accreditation process for approving/certifying low carbon technologies for HGV applications. The scheme will also assess the operational characteristics of the technologies, and their applicability, for potential operators. 

The scheme will provide test results and recommendations to DfT/OLEV for stimulating uptake. Its test protocol has many potential future applications in the evaluation of cleaner truck technologies. 

With the Low Carbon Truck Trial (LCTT) nearing its final phase, and the emergence of Euro VI gas vehicle technology for HGVs, the LowCVP is also managing a new test programme for the Department for Transport to benchmark the latest gas trucks for emissions including methane, carbon dioxide (CO2) and NOx, and fuel consumption. 

The project will compare the performance and emissions of gas vehicles (both OEM and retrofit conversions) with their direct diesel counterparts in a consistent manner using the latest PEMS equipment run over repeatable, realistic and representative track cycles. The outputs from the project will provide the comprehensive evidence-base needed on gas use in HGVs for the formation of long-term government policy options in this sector. 

Collaborators in the LowCVP’s commercial vehicle initiatives include the Department for Transport, OLEV, Freight Transport Association, Road Haulage Association, Centre for Sustainable Road Freight and Green Freight Europe plus private companies including Millbrook, MIRA, Mercedes, Michelin, Stobart Group and TRL. 

Andy Eastlake, LowCVP's MD said "In terms of road transport, most of the focus in recent years has been on cutting emissions from cars and buses. Road freight in vans and trucks is responsible for around 35% of the UK’s total road CO2 emissions and there are plenty of opportunities for the sector to make a real contribution to the UK’s climate targets – as well as helping to cut operators’ costs and contribute to improvements in air quality.” 

Rachael Dillon, Climate Change Policy Manager at the Freight Transport Association (FTA) said: “Operators want better options for reducing carbon emissions from HGVs.  New opportunities for after-market technologies and further emissions testing for gas and biomethane vehicles can help identify the best steps to decarbonising the sector.” 

Guy Heywood ‎Commercial Director UK and ROI Michelin Tyre PLC, and a supporter of the LowCVP’s accreditation scheme, said: “We know from direct experience how much difference even small changes to a commercial vehicle’s specification can make. 

“Simply fitting a different brand of tyre can achieve fuel savings of more than 5%, cutting significant volumes of carbon. As an industry, the more information we can provide to help operators make informed decisions on low carbon technologies, the better.”

 Laura Hailstone, Freight in the City project manager, said: “It’s fantastic to see the LowCVP calling on freight operators to contribute to creating a market for low carbon trucks. 

“Freight in the City is focused on enabling urban deliveries to be made as cleanly as possible but there remains little choice for operators in the market for alternative fuelled commercial vehicles. Our partnership with the LowCVP at the Freight in the City Expo is a welcome step toward to opening up a strong dialogue between the freight industry and the low carbon technology providers.” (See FITC event video here.)

Contact Brian Robinson or Andy Eastlake via the LowCVP Secretariat for more information or to indicate your interest in attending the stakeholder workshop in late-November: secretariat@lowcvp.org.uk


1 "Opportunities to overcome the barriers to uptake of low emission technologies for each commercial vehicle duty cycle." Report for the LowCVP and Transport KTN by Ricardo-AEA (Nov 2012) 

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The LowCVP has done so much to further the cause of green motoring…this conference has always provided an excellent forum for debate and discussion
Minister of Transport, Andrew Jones MP