Decarbonising the UK truck fleet is a massive challenge says SMMT CEO Mike Hawes

Will Shiers
February 24, 2022

Decarbonising the UK HGV fleet represents a massive challenge for the industry, according to SMMT CEO Mike Hawes.

“Last year one in 10 new cars sold was pure electric, and one in six were plug-in hybrids, but for the HGV sector it’s nowhere near that,” he explained at Iveco’s annual State of the Nation press briefing. According to Hawes, take-up of zero tailpipe emission trucks is at the same level that passenger cars were at 10 years ago. He said the government is committed to ending the sale of fossil fuel-powered trucks below 26 tonnes by 2030 (2035 for HGVs over 26 tonnes), which is only five years after the deadline for cars.

Hawes believes a lack of a truck charging infrastructure is exacerbating the problem, and pointed out that the UK will need 2,450 truck charging points by 2025 and 8,200 by 2030 if it is to meet that trajectory.

However he stressed that there would not be one single solution in the move to decarbonising.

“Every manufacturer is looking at different technologies. Will it by hydrogen combustion, will it be hydrogen fuel cell, will it be electrification, will it be catena, will it be e-fuels? There is no right answer to this, it’s about finding the right solution for the right application,” he said.

About the Author


Will Shiers

Will has been the editor of Commercial Motor magazine since 2011 and is the UK jury member of the International Truck of the Year.

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