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 have had 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. At the moment, the total ban only refers to cars and smaller vans. But that doesn’t mean that haulage firms can breathe a sigh of relief. Far from it, because we know that HGVs will be dealt with separately, specifically, in their own regulation. After all, diesel is a very heavy pollutant, and the sheer volume of HGVs on the road contributes highly to the pollution levels in our environment.
But this news isn’t all that welcome. After all, if diesel vehicles are completely banned, thousands of haulage companies will be required to replace their current fleet of HGVs with a new, environmentally friendly fleet. This is not a cheap endeavour, and while some firms are already starting this to get ahead of the curve, there is no news about whether firms will be compensated for the replacement process. At the moment, the government’s plan only suggests that standard car drivers will be financially compensated (to the tune of £1000 to £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. We do know that van drivers will also be encouraged to switch with the promise of being able to hire bigger vehicles.
But for now, diesel vehicles aren’t banned. Nevertheless, 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 90s, which claimed that petrol was far worse for the environment than diesel. As we now know the opposite is true, the government is working to correct the mistake and preserve our environment.
It’s not yet been fully confirmed when (and indeed if) the diesel scrappage scheme will go ahead, but we do know that it is being pushed into the consultation phase as we speak. At The HGV Training Centre, we will be keeping an eye on the announcements and bringing you the latest insights and impact from the haulage industry around this and many more issues in the future. In the meantime, if you would like to discuss HGV emissions with us, get in touch today.