The Government’s new clean air strategy published last week sets out plans for dealing with all sources of air pollution in the UK. Critics are claiming there is insufficient detail on the future role of transport with no new measures to tackle roadside dirty air says Calor, supplier of clean energy to the transport and logistics sector.
The result of an extensive consultation process, the plan sets out how Government will work to reduce emissions from transport, homes, farming and industry. This includes new requirements for wood burning stoves, open fires and agriculture, but industry experts from environmental groups, vehicle manufacturers and health representatives are claiming the scheme is vague on the subject of roadside emissions.
They argue that Government has only reaffirmed last year’s pledge to end the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, despite pressure from the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee to bring this date forward to 2030.
Mark Gilks, Transport Specialist from Calor said: “We have long advocated that there should be tighter restrictions on pollutants from vehicles as the UK moves to improve air quality and, were one of the first companies in the UK to offer auto-gas refuelling stations for cars.
“In the absence of any new ideas to tackle roadside pollution, we argue that more should be done to encourage hauliers to invest in gas-vehicle, low emission technology.
“Many operators talk to us about the challenges they face in investing in green fleet technology, particularly for longer journeys where electric vehicles cannot deliver the range required.
“Gas-based fuels have a critical role to play here. Reports from Policy Exchange demonstrate that gas-based fuels including liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), BioLPG and liquefied natural gas (LNG or CNG) are already a proven solution, enabling fleet managers to markedly improve emissions from the vehicles, with a fast return on investment.
“This includes substantial reductions in dangerous particulates such as NOx and SOx.
“However, for this to work without hauliers compromising operational efficiency, Government must do more to develop a nationwide refuelling network, especially for natural gas-fuelled vehicles.
“We already operate the UK’s largest national network of LNG refuelling stations and are keen to develop the infrastructure further to support the move to alternative fuels, already working with our customers to introduce back-to-base facilities.
“Elsewhere, we are discussing the benefits of dual-fuel technology with hauliers and fleet managers. A simple conversion allows an existing engine’s combustion chambers to burn both LPG or BioLPG, our new renewable fuel option, and diesel, helping to reduce emissions.
“BioLPG is also a drop-in fuel. This means that for hauliers already using LPG, there is no need to alter any equipment or supply infrastructure.”
“The Government claims it has ‘committed more than £3.5 billion to tackle poor air quality through cleaner road transport and is working closely with local authorities and Local Economic Partnerships to make progress.’
“Alongside continued investment in alternative, green vehicle technology, a portion of these funds must be made available to support existing gas infrastructure, which is already helping to cut roadside emissions.”