One-fifth of fleets plan to try alternative fuels within three years, says latest CM research

One-in-five operators plan to acquire alternative-fuelled trucks in the next three years, new research reveals, demonstrating a growing appetite for new technology.

The ‘Asset Alliance Group Industry Monitor 2021’, compiled in partnership with Motor Transport and Commercial Motor, also discovered that just over half (51%) of respondents said they had no current plans to buy non-diesel trucks, however with the caveat “this might change”. The remaining 29% stated they had no intentions to try alternatives.

Gas-powered trucks topped the list when it came to which alternative fuels operators were looking to try, with 8% looking at liquefied natural gas (LNG) and 6% considering compressed natural gas (CNG).

A further 9% were planning on plugging into battery electric vehicle technology, while 6% were exploring range-extended electric options.

Drop-in fuels such as hydro-treated vegetable oil (HVO) and gas to liquid (GTL), as well as hydrogen were also on the radar for some operators.

Finances and a lack of public refuelling infrastructure topped the list when it came to the barriers cited by operators for trying new fuels and technology.

But more than half (52%) of respondents would be more inclined to try alternative fuels if there was a financial incentive from the government, such as reduced tax or maybe a scrappage scheme.

Non-financial operational incentives, such as more access to restricted kerb-sides or additional delivery windows, would also encourage one-fifth of respondents.

Free to download, the ‘Asset Alliance Group Industry Monitor 2021’ comprises a robust 625-strong respondent base.

A must-read for all fleet operators, it provides analysis of key challenges – such as urban regulations, the national driver shortage and truck crime – and gauges the impact they are having on business of all sizes.

 

Fine and points for overtaking HGV driver

An HGV driver showed “complete disregard for the rules of the road” when he breached solid white lines on the A36 and overtook two vehicles.

Matthew Lobley, 46, has now been fined and received points on his licence after dash cam footage showed he was driving on the wrong side of the road in Wiltshire. The driver pleaded guilty to failing to comply with solid white line road markings at Salisbury Magistrates and fined £155 and given three penalty points.

In the footage, supplied by a member of the public to the police, Lobley can be seen driving along the A-road near Warminster, contravening the road markings to overtake two vehicles, with vehicles travelling in the opposite direction. Sgt Will Ayres of the roads policing unit said the stretch of road was the site of a double fatal collision in 2018 following a breach of the white line system and drivers should be taking extra care.

“It is only through good fortune that this complete disregard for the rules of the road to be a couple of cars ahead in the traffic didn’t result in a collision or worse,” he said. “You must not cross or straddle a white line. The only time this is acceptable it to pass a stationary vehicle, push bike, horse or road maintenance vehicle that is traveling at less than 10mph. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the member of the public who submitted the dash-cam footage that enabled this prosecution.”