Crucial feedback on gas HGVs has been provided by the Low Carbon Truck Trial, with the provisional results being detailed in a first report commissioned by the Department for Transport (DfT) which was published yesterday (19 June).
Responding to the DfT report outlining the Government’s Low Carbon Truck Trial, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has said that it supported the trials stating that they have put more gas powered HGVs on the roads, whilst identifying the operational challenges of running gas vehicles.
According to the report, 175 trucks were already in use in January 2014 as part of the two year trial with the vast majority procured as dual fuel tractor gas trucks. The average substitution ratio was 46 per cent for dual fuel gas vehicles. Provisional results indicate carbon savings of up to nine per cent from gas dual fuel vehicles. Both the substitution ratio and carbon savings are expected to rise as more refuelling infrastructure becomes available.
Rachael Dillon, Climate Change Policy Manager said:
"The report provides crucial early feedback from the Low Carbon Truck Trial and identifies the operational challenges of running gas HGVs. We hope that the trial can kick start the market and look forward to seeing further results."
Government is providing £11.3 million to make up an overall £23 million demonstration project to pump prime procurement of low emission HGV technologies and supporting infrastructure. The increased utilisation of gas and ultimately biomethane will help the road freight sector to reduce carbon emissions.
13 projects led by consortia including leading FTA members will result in the provision of 354 trucks utilising alternative fuels such as liquefied natural gas (LNG), compressed natural gas (CNG) and used cooking oil (UCO). A total of 18 new refuelling stations are planned through the trial.
FTA has been campaigning for national gas refuelling infrastructure on behalf of its members.
Ms Dillon added:
"The Low Carbon Truck Trial is putting more gas powered HGVs on the road and will also provide much needed provision of public refuelling infrastructure. The use of gas and biomethane will help industry to contribute to national carbon reduction targets and also tackle air pollution. However the cost of vehicle conversions and lack of current refuelling stations is deterring take-up."