Efforts to make a positive impact on the environment are leading many businesses within the transport and logistics industry to adopt more sustainable supply chain practices. Not only does this benefit the planet, reduce reliance on fossil fuels and protect consumers from increasing global fuel prices, but it can also help to create business alliances with socially conscious clients who are seeking to align themselves with companies that share their values and business ethics,

To boost these efforts, the government has announced plans to achieve cleaner air and greener jobs by injecting over £200 million into funding the world’s largest fleet of zero emission heavy goods vehicles (HGVs). This is part of their extensive zero emission road freight demonstrator programme which is also set to ensure all new HGVs sold in the UK will be zero emission by 2040.

What Is Considered Zero Emissions?

Zero emission vehicles do not produce any harmful pollutants such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane or other greenhouse gases. Some examples of zero-emission vehicles include electric or battery-powered vehicles and hydrogen-fueled vehicles.

As part of its plan to decarbonise the freight industry, the government plan to launch competitions for manufacturers, energy providers as well as fleet and infrastructure operators. The competitions will allow them to demonstrate their electric, battery and hydrogen fuel cell technology which could result in hundreds more zero-emission HGVs being rolled out across the country.

Commercial vehicle manufacturer, Leyland Trucks, has already rolled out 20 DAF battery-electric HGVs for the NHS, local authorities and other public sector organisations allowing for findings to be gathered from field testing HGVs in a real-world logistics environment.

Will Lorries Ever Be Electric?

Marketing forecasts point to the rapid increase in the global electric vehicle market with sales set to reach 31.1 million by 2030. Greater demand for fossil-free alternatives is also beginning to emerge in the road freight industry as awareness and trust in the electric vehicle market increases.

Examples of the interest in electric lorries include global logistics giant DHL which launched their 16-tonne electric Volvo lorry for deliveries in London in November 2020. Since then, DHL announced they would sell a range of electric battery vehicles for distribution in Europe, as well as regional transport, refuse and urban construction operations. Depending on their individual battery configuration, these vehicles can travel as much as 300km on a single charge highlighting the cost benefits of green vehicles compared to their petrol or diesel counterparts.

Predictions for the Future

Given the benefits highlighted in this article in terms of cost, fuel-efficiency, ethical considerations and sustainability, it is almost certain that the future of logistics is electric as more companies within this sector begin embracing fossil-free alternatives for their operations.

The changes are likely to be implemented in stages with a gradual transition to fully electric or green transport solutions taking place in the industry over time in addition to the necessary infrastructure being put in place to support the growth in electric haulage vehicles.

Transmode supports clients across the UK and beyond in achieving their sustainability-focused goals for a greener future through bespoke logistics consultancy and professional container haulage solutions. Get in touch with our experienced team today to discuss your requirements.

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