GVN updates Chancellor on the industry and policy priorities

1st November 2019
Following the cancellation of this year's Autumn Budget, the co-chairs of the Gas Vehicle Network wrote to Sajid Javid, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, to update him on the industry's last 12 months and set out the actions which could further boost the industry.

David Hurren (Air Liquide) and Rob Wood (Gasrec), co-chairs of GVN, reminded the Chancellor of last year's decision by HM Treasury to extend the differential in Fuel Duty between fuels and diesel until 2032, subject to a review in 2024, which was widely welcomed by the industry. This decision has stimulated growth and private investment in a variety of areas, particularly refuelling infrastructure, meaning more companies are switching their fleets away from diesel to cleaner natural gas and renewable biomethane.

They also highlighted the trade association's new name which signals a renewed focus on demonstrating that gas powered vehicles can play a part in Britain's transition to carbon neutrality through renewably produced fuels such as bio-CNG, bio-LNG and low carbon hydrogen.

David and Rob also asked the Chancellor to commit to a number of measures which could unlock wider takeup of gas vehicles and the emissions savings they offer:

  • Maintaining the Fuel Duty differential for the long term to continue the significant cost savings over diesel for operators and to provide the industry with certainty.
  • Introduce clear cost signals via taxation to disincentivise companies from continuing to purchase new diesel vehicles to ensure we see the benefits of the ban on their sale from 2040 much earlier.
  • Invest in a core network of refuelling station infrastructure to support widespread adoption of gas powered vehicles; this would have potential to refuel 10,000 trucks and remove up to 1.8 billion tonnes of carbon per year.
  • Provide certainty around subsidies for biomethane generation after the anticipated closure of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI); the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation could provide a solid alternative but variable rates paid for Renewable Transport Fuel Certificates deprive investors of certainty on the price they will be paid.

They also raised GVN's ambitions for 2020. The Network will continue efforts to raise awareness of the benefits of gas powered vehicles to the freight sector as well as working with stakeholders in the industry to make sure information on refuelling infrastructure is communicated as accurately as it can be. GVN also eagerly awaits the publication of the results of recent vehicle trails run on behalf of the Office for Low Emission Vehicles which will hope to use to demonstrate the efficacy of gas vehicles compared to even their newest diesel counterparts.

Now is an exciting time for the gas vehicle industry so David and Rob look forward to taking these opportunities forward with the Government and continuing to make the case for widespread adoption of gas HGVs. You can view the GVN co-chairs' full letter to Sajid Javid below.