Here at Specialised HGV Training, we’ve brought you news about the future of HGVs including things like Tesla’s all-electric trucks due to be unveiled this year. But the case for taking vehicles into the electronic age has just been made more pressing, because diesel is set to be scrapped altogether by 2040, with new plans for all diesel vehicles to be taken off the road.

 

Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, is due to announce the measure in an attempt to tackle air pollution, but what does the diesel scrappage scheme mean for the haulage industry? At the moment, it’s not too clear. The ban refers specifically to cars, but HGVs are expected to be tackled more specifically in the future. If the sale of diesel vehicles were banned completely from 2040, this would mean haulage firms would need to replace their current vehicles with new and more environmentally friendly models.  Given the length of time, before the ban would come in, this should see firms replacing all their current vehicles by then as a matter of course.  But what’s not clear is whether haulage firms would be compensated for switching to greener vehicles in the same way that car drivers would be.

 

At the moment, the plan suggests that drivers would be paid between £1000 and £2000 for making the switch from a diesel car to a low-emission car, to help cover the cost of swapping. Electric HGVs are not yet on the roads in large enough numbers for us to know what the cost of one might be at that time. However, in an attempt to encourage a voluntary switch, van drivers are promised that they can drive a heavier vehicle if they switch to a low emission model such as an electric or hybrid one.

Diesel Scrappage Scheme affect HGVs

In the meantime, while diesel vehicles haven’t been banned yet, they will be charged extra for road use, parking and fuel in an attempt to push them off the road or have them compensate for their higher emissions. This is known as the T-Charge or Toxicity Charge and will begin from October 2017.  Diesel vehicles were once considered less toxic than petrol vehicles, with drivers encouraged to switch to diesel under Tony Blair. The current Government has said they will be taking this into account when considering the plans.

 

However, we now know that they can be just as bad for the environment, if not worse, and we’re seeing a spate of new electric vehicles springing up to take their place.  It’s not yet known whether the diesel scrappage scheme will go ahead, but it will head to consultation and we will, of course, keep you posted.

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