Government commits £2.5m to testing of emissions-reduction retrofit systems

 

The government has provided a £2.5m cash injection to stimulate the range of retrofit systems available for commercial vehicles.

Emissions-reduction technology approved under the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS) can be used by operators to enable older vehicles to meet the requirements of clean air zones.

While systems for buses have been approved and successfully used for some time now, to date, no systems have been approved for HGVs.

The CVRAS acknowledges the challenge of testing technology for a diverse range of vehicles, engines and duty cycles, which can prove costly for retrofit firms.

“We need to ensure retrofit systems achieve the required emissions reduction and this means approval tests for which there is an associated cost,” said CVRAS administrator Colin Smith, Energy Saving Trust programme manager for freight and clean vehicle retrofit.

“This fund will help remove this key barrier and get more retrofit systems approved across a wider range of vehicles.”

CM understands that retrofit options for RCVs are already going through the CVRAS testing process, and it is anticipated more HGV options will emerge following the government’s investment.

Andy Eastlake, MD at the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, which developed the CVRAS programme, said: “This initiative is an important step to help clean more of the current fleet, whilst we wait for the penetration of ultra-low-emission vehicles to increase.

“Retrofit is a key element of the overall package and will enable innovative solutions to be brought forward which can make a real difference to air quality in the short and medium term.”

Drivers’ hours law and tachograph legislation: What happens next?

Drivers' hours legislation

 

There have been many questions from people in the transport industry about what will happen to drivers’ hours law and tachograph legislation post-Brexit, however unless some significant change to UK government policy occurs over the next few months, there are already clear steps in place.

Currently, EU legislation is not UK law, but there is one piece of overriding legislation that allows for the supremacy of EU Law: The European Communities Act 1972 (ECA). As part of the Brexit process the UK will repeal this act but, at the same time, bring all EU laws onto the UK books.

This will mean that what we generally understand to be EU laws will continue to apply after Brexit. It will maintain the status quo to ensure there are no sudden black holes in UK legislation and therefore there will be no change in the short term.

Long-term, this will present the possibility to repeal any of the former EU legislation that the government of the day may choose and we at Aquarius IT are not currently aware of any industry group that is lobbying for significant change in the short-term.

In addition to the above the UK would then become a non-EU European country in much the same way as Switzerland and Norway. This would mean that, as far as tachograph and drivers’ hours law is concerned, all UK-EU journeys would automatically fall under the European Agreement Concerning the Work of Crews of Vehicles Engaged in International Road Transport (AETR) rules.

Under the current AETR drivers’ hours and tachograph legislation the AETR is extremely closely aligned to the EU, to the point where we would see very little operational change. Beyond Brexit and the next generation digital tachograph, the proposals and changes to legislation are in place to ensure that a level playing field remains for all operators.

Conscientious operators are now able to make the most of the ever-improving tools, data and facilities at their disposal in order to run their fleet with more confidence in their pursuit of compliance. At the same time vehicle operators and drivers should look positively on the changes to come with the smart tachograph: with technology in the world around us changing apace, it is only right that the tachograph should evolve.

By Guy Reynolds, commercial director, Aquarius IT