Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership calls on heavy goods vehicles manufacturers to boost biofuels

In the UK, the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) is calling on fleet operators, local authorities and others to join forces in building the market for heavy goods vehicles which cut carbon, reduce emissions and lower fuel costs.

In earlier work, the LowCVP has identified three main opportunities for cutting emissions from HGVs which pointed to the need for specific interventions: independent testing to validate the effectiveness of retrofit technology; conversion to the use of natural gas/biomethane; and supporting the uptake of hybrid and pure electric vehicles, particularly for use in urban environments.

The Partnership will be holding a stakeholder workshop in late November to progress the LowCVP’s commercial vehicle activity, including the accreditation scheme for after-market technologies as well as providing opportunities for operators and others to collaborate in a new, DfT-funded test programme to benchmark vehicles powered by natural gas/biomethane. The group will also commence activity on the specific actions needed to stimulate low carbon urban freight solutions.

The workshop will also provide the opportunity to connect with and influence the future work programme of the LowCVP’s Commercial Vehicle Working Group, which will drive forward these and other initiatives in the freight decarbonisation area.

One of the key opportunities identified in earlier LowCVP work for cutting carbon from HGVs in the UK was to increase the uptake of existing retrofit technology by operators in the market. Independent verification of the performance of technologies and a credible assessment of the applicability of equipment to different operational environments were identified as key requirements.

A test process has already been developed and is ready for peer review and launch. The next phase will be to develop an umbrella accreditation process for approving/certifying low carbon technologies for HGV applications. The scheme will also assess the operational characteristics of the technologies, and their applicability, for potential operators.

The scheme will provide test results and recommendations to DfT/OLEV for stimulating uptake. Its test protocol has many potential future applications in the evaluation of cleaner truck technologies.

With the Low Carbon Truck Trial (LCTT) nearing its final phase, and the emergence of Euro VI gas vehicle technology for HGVs, the LowCVP is also managing a new test programme for the Department for Transport to benchmark the latest gas trucks for emissions including methane, carbon dioxide (CO2) and NOx, and fuel consumption.

The project will compare the performance and emissions of gas vehicles (both OEM and retrofit conversions) with their direct diesel counterparts in a consistent manner using the latest PEMS equipment run over repeatable, realistic and representative track cycles. The outputs from the project will provide the comprehensive evidence-base needed on gas use in HGVs for the formation of long-term government policy options in this sector.

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