The government has launched a three-year programme, to begin later this year, that will help to decarbonise the UK’s freight industry. It has been announced that it will deliver £200 million funding into boosting zero-emission heavy goods vehicles (HGV). 

The investment aims to produce, what it claims to be, the world’s largest fleet of zero emission HGVs, adding hundreds of more eco-friendly trucks to the UK’s roads.   

The government is aiming to ensure that all new HGVs sold will be zero emission from 2035 onwards. This date will apply to vehicles weighing less than 26 tonnes, with all new HGVs having to meet the rule by 2040. 

HGVs prove to present a greater challenge in the transition to zero emission than cars and vans. Especially as the size and weight of the electric vehicle batteries are required to meet the requirements of long-haul HGVs. 

Transport minister, Trudy Harrison, has said: ‘’Our road freight industry is one of the most efficient in the world and contributes over £13 billion to the UK economy each year. 

‘’But we must accelerate our journey towards our net zero goals, and we’re committed to leading the way globally on non-zero emission road vehicles.” 

Head of Future Markets at National Grid, Graeme Cooper, has also commented saying: “We welcome the next phase of the government’s zero emission road freight demonstrator programme. 

“This will provide certainly for the trucking and freight industries, as they transition to zero emission vehicles. 

“At National Grid we have supported Phase 1 as part of the core advisory group and look forward to supporting this next step. In order for this to deliver real value to the market, it is critical that this proceeds at pace as the technologies are developing quicker than many expected.” 

The scheme aims to improve air quality, create greener jobs, and reduce reliance on oil imports. It also strives to reduce delivery costs and protect customers from rising fuel prices.