RHA’s Driving Forward urges government ‘roadmap’

The RHA has launched a blueprint of its ‘road to Net Zero’ recommendations for truck and coach.

The report. Driving Forward, urges the government to create a roadmap detailing the strategy it has for coaches to reach Net Zero 2050 so that the industry can plan vehicle replacement cycles, in particular. It urges the UK to speed up the energy infrastructure needed to introduce zero-emission vehicles at scale and pace.

The RHA suggests financial incentives to reduce the purchase and running costs of zero-emission coaches, and create a Low Carbon Strategy which includes the use of low-carbon fuels, such as HVO and biogas as the industry transitions.

It urges the government to address the skill shortages in both coach and truck sectors, especially of drivers and technicians, financially supporting apprenticeships and training, particularly to tackle new vehicle technologies such as battery and fuel-cell coaches. The UK has already committed to phasing out new diesel vehicles under 26 tonnes by 2035, and larger vehicles by 2040.

‘The current phase-out dates [for coaches] present an immense challenge,’ says the report. ‘A mature supply of zero-emission…coaches does not yet exist for the heaviest vehicles. With available options limited and expensive.’

‘The cost of a new [zero-emission] vehicle is currently prohibitive, with electric vehicles currently costing three times more than their diesel equivalent.’

‘We also know that the use of low-carbon fuels such as HVO and CNG can substantially reduce ‘carbon] emissions by up to 90%. These transitional options are vital to supporting the industry…and there has been no clarification from government as to whether this is an acceptable way forward.’

In addition, the report calls for changes in regulation now possible after Brexit, and a review of CAZs and the ULEZ in relation to the use of HGVs and coaches so they are not disproportionately affected by them.

To read and print the full report, go to https://tinyurl.com/ywbn5d67

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