HGVs are “a blind spot for all political parties” says GVN CEO

28th November 2019
Mike Foster, CEO of the Gas Vehicle Network (GVN), has berated Britain’s main political parties for their lack of commitment to tackling the disproportionately high carbon emissions and air pollutants from heavy goods vehicles.
  • manifesto 2019

Mr Foster said: 

“The manifestos for the Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats, and Green Party have all been released but barely feature any mention of HGVs and commercial fleets or how these will be decarbonised.” 

“Before this general election was called we knew that the focus of politicians was on the more glamorous world of electric cars, avoiding the inconvenient truth that HGVs are not so easy to decarbonise. The parties’ manifestos for government provided an opportunity for them to set out their vision for cleaner transport. It is disappointing, but maybe not surprising, that none of them addressed how we will transition HGVs or commercial transport away from diesel.”

 “The Lib Dems pledged to reform the Road User Levy to account for carbon emissions; this could encourage a shift away from diesel but not tying it to incentives for gas HGVs, which can cut carbon emissions and harmful pollutants, is a missed opportunity." 

"Similarly, the Greens pledge to incentivise the uptake of electric alternatives to diesel lorries could be hard to deliver given that there are no commercially viable all-electric HGVs. From the main two contenders for Number 10; the Conservatives and Labour, we have heard nothing signalling that the industry has its work cut out to secure action on decarbonising HGVs.”

The release of the parties’ manifestos coincides with the publication of EUA’s manifesto which calls for a number of transport-related policies:

  • Provide long term, strategic investment in gas refuelling infrastructure
  • Roll out more Clean Air Zones in polluted towns and cities
  • Introduce a diesel scrappage scheme for Euro V and older HGVs 

Mike Foster added: “We know what steps the next government need to take to support the switch to cleaner gas HGVs. Politicians must grasp the opportunities provided by biomethane and hydrogen so the UK can lead the way with net zero HGVs. The parties’ manifestos don’t fill us with hope but luckily ours gives the next Prime Minister and Transport Secretary a good starting point.”

 You can read the EUA manifesto in full here.