As a specialist in HGV driver training and haulage recruitment, we pride ourselves on bringing you the very latest HGV news as quickly as possible. That’s why we’ve had here, talks about cutting edge issues in the past such as the new driverless lorries still being trialled across the country, or of Tesla’s intention to bring out an electric HGV (with a formal announcement on the date expected very soon). And so, we feel obligated to share with you the latest news that’s shaken the motoring industry – the intention to completely eradicate diesel. Yes, the government announced its plans to scrap diesel by 2040 and remove all diesel vehicles from the road by this date as well.
Why Eradicate Diesel?
For many years now, we have known that diesel is a significant environmental pollutant. That’s why environmental secretary Michael Gove announced that the plan to scrap diesel was an attempt to tackle air pollution across the country. As far as we know right now, the ban only refers to cars and the smaller vans on the road. But that doesn’t mean that the haulage industry has got away scot-free. It is highly likely that HGVs will be dealt with separately, particularly as they are one of the heaviest diesel polluters on the road. But it isn’t yet clear exactly how HGVs will be dealt with. We expect there to be a transition plan in place, but can’t yet guess at what that might be.
What we do know is that if diesel vehicles are completely banned, thousands of haulage companies will need to replace their current vehicles with a new, environmentally friendly fleet. This is not a cheap ask, particularly, to larger firms. We already know of some businesses that are starting to switch to eco-friendly vehicles, but they are few and far between since low emission HGVs are fairly cost prohibitive. On top of that, there is no news about whether firms will be compensated for the replacement process.
The government has already announced a compensation measure for car drivers as part of their plan, which will see diesel car drivers offered between £1000 and £2000 to encourage them to switch. But since electric HGVs aren’t available on the wider market, and there is very little data available on them, we don’t know how expensive these vehicles would be to buy and run. And since HGVs aren’t being specifically dealt with in this plan, we have no way of knowing if compensation will be offered. We do know that van drivers will also be encouraged to switch with the promise of being able to hire bigger vehicles.
For now, diesel vehicles haven’t been banned completely. But we are still aware of how bad they are to the environment, so the government has introduced new regulations to start the switching process. This involves charging diesel vehicles extra to use the roads, park and refuel in an attempt to either push them off the road or financially compensate for their high emissions. This will be called the T-Charge (or Toxicity charge) and will come into effect on the 1st of October this year. This new step is a far cry from Blair’s claims in the 90’s, which claimed that petrol was far worse for the environment than diesel. As we now know, the opposite is true, and the government is working to correct the mistake and preserve our environment.
It’s not yet been fully confirmed when the diesel scrappage scheme will actually go ahead, but we do know that it is being discussed as we speak. At The LGV Training Centre, we will keep an eye on the announcements and bring you the latest from the haulage industry around this and other issues in the future. In the meantime, if you would like to discuss HGV emissions with us, get in touch today.