Budget 2018: Decision to continue support for alternative fuels welcomed

Iveco NP


The government’s decision to maintain the fuel duty differential for alternative fuels until 2032 provides clarity for hauliers as they move towards cleaner fleets, according to Andy Eastlake, MD of not-for-profit partnership the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP).

The announcement in the budget (29 October), which will see the fuel duty differential put on a long-term footing, albeit subject to a review in 2024, will give operators “the confidence to invest in non-diesel trucks”, according to Eastlake.

“With both diesel and gas, Euro-6 trucks delivering the very low emissions needed to meet our air quality challenges, it’s possible to renew our carbon focus on the heavy transport mode. The use of renewable and sustainable fuels in this difficult-to-decarbonise heavy-duty sector is one of the best current options and LowCVP is pleased to see the continued commitment from the Treasury to supporting this approach.

“The latest information on gas truck performance [which has been shared with the DfT], showed the benefits of fuelling on even fossil gas – specifically in heavy, long-haul operations – with up to 17% greenhouse gas savings seen in some cases.”

This, Eastlake said, with the commitment from OEMs to market and support gas-powered heavy trucks in the UK, and a fuel supply industry focused on increasing the use of sustainable biomethane, “has demonstrated a strong case for the extension of the gas fuel duty differential to 2032.

“There’s no doubt that electrification can deliver today in smaller commercial vehicles, but for the biggest trucks running high-mileage, low-carbon fuels are the obvious next step on our ‘Road to zero’.”