Government pledges to scrap sale of new diesel HGVs by 2040

The government has pledged to scrap the sale of all diesel-fuelled HGVs by 2040. Under the plans, the UK has become the first country in the world to commit to phasing out new non-zero emission trucks weighing up to 26 tonnes by 2035.

The aim is all new HGVs sold in the UK will be zero emissions five years later. “From our roads to the skies, the transition to zero emission transport has reached a tipping point. We know that transport plays a key role in saving the planet from warming above 1.5?C, which is why this is the COP that will kickstart our ambition for zero emission aviation and why I’m proud to be uniting world leaders to tackle climate change – creating new opportunities for clean growth, green jobs and improved air quality right across the globe,” said UK transport secretary Grant Shapps.

“To support the transition to EVs, it’s integral that we have the infrastructure to support it. My vision is for the UK to have one of the best EV infrastructure networks in the world, with excellent British design at its heart.” However, the Road Haulage Association has warned that hauliers need “proper phasing in of new technology with realistic timescales that will meet the needs of all users”.

In addition, the trade association has urged ministers to ensure that new diesel trucks are given a minimum use period of 15 years. It has also highlighted the need for government to “accelerate investment” in the electric vehicle and hydrogen infrastructure needed to realise net zero objectives in transport.  “We support the government’s aim to decarbonise but the pace may be impossibly fast,” said RHA managing director of policy and public affairs Rod McKenzie. “Care is needed to ensure that all markets are served and future disruption to the supply chains are avoided.

We would like the deadline extended for lorries over 18 tonnes by five years with support for hauliers in making the transition.

“Proven alternatives to diesel for all uses, locations, ranges and the heaviest trucks don’t yet exist.

It will require continuous review of the timeline over coming years to ensure a sustainable and successful transition to zero tailpipe lorries.”