As a specialist in HGV driver training and haulage recruitment, we pride ourselves in bringing you the very latest HGV news as quickly as possible. We’ve covered self-driving HGVs, electric HGVs and even the national driver shortage. Today, we bring you the latest blow to the HGV industry straight from the government itself – a total ban on 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. But why ban diesel at all, and what impact will this have on the haulage industry in the years to come?
So Why Scrap Diesel?
It is well known now that diesel is a heavy pollutant. That’s why environmental secretary Michael Gove announced the government’s plan to scrap diesel as a part of a greater move to tackle air pollution across the UK. As far as we know right now, the ban only refers to cars and vans and will not only prevent diesel vehicles from being sold in the future but require all drivers of them to switch to more eco-friendly or petrol vehicles. But that doesn’t mean HGV drivers can breathe a big sigh of relief. It is highly likely that HGVs will be tackled in an entirely different regulation set – especially since HGVs are one of the heaviest pollutants on the road. But for now, it isn’t clear on what the plan for HGVs is and what the transition process will be.
What we do know is that if diesel vehicles are completely banned, thousands of haulage companies will need to replace their current vehicles with a new, environmentally friendly fleet. This is not a cheap ask, particularly to larger firms. We already know of some businesses that are starting to switch to eco-friendly vehicles, but they are few and far between since low emission HGVs are fairly cost prohibitive. On top of that, there is no news about whether firms will be compensated for the replacement process.
We do know that there is already a compensation plan for car and van drivers under the diesel scrappage plan. Car drivers will be offered between £1000 and £2000 as an incentive to make the switch to an eco-friendly vehicle. For van drivers, there is an extra incentive – van drivers will be able to hire bigger vehicles if they switch to an eco-friendly vehicle. But since eco-friendly HGVs aren’t widely available on the market, we don’t know if a similar scheme will be available to haulage firms when the time comes.
What Comes Next?
But for now, diesel and diesel vehicles are still perfectly legal and will be for many years to come. In order to start some positive change for the environment sooner, the government has introduced new regulations. These regulations involve charging diesel vehicles extra to use roads, park and even increase diesel fuel prices, with the aim to drive diesel vehicles off the road beforehand. This measure is called the T-charge (or Toxicity Charge) and will come into effect on the 1st of October this year. A far cry from Blair’s claims that diesel is better for the environment than petrol, diesel drivers will now find themselves heavily penalised for their choice of fuel.
The debate over the implications and moving to a 0 diesel motoring industry are still ongoing. The plans are not yet finalised and are still being discussed in Parliament at the moment. At CPC Training, we will be bringing you updates and discussion around the diesel scrappage scheme as and when they are announced. In the meantime, if you would like to discuss HGV emissions or fuel with us, get in touch with us today.