The crucial role fleets have to play in making a success of the Government’s transport decarbonisation plans was highlighted at this year’s Fleet & Mobility Live.
Philip New, Energy Systems Catapult chief executive and Greg Archer, Transport and Environment UK director, dissected the Government’s Decarbonising Transport plan to identify the biggest gaps on the road to net zero as part of an open discussion on the first day of the two-day show.
New said: “Fleets are so important because if we can meet their needs for decarbonisation, that means we would have nailed the problems around infrastructure.
“Fleets are much more demanding in terms of interoperability, for reliability and they push on the extremes for value and diversity of service.
“There has been too much focus on the individual and private car buyers when it comes to electric vehicles, but the next push for the Government on decarbonisation really needs to put fleets at the centre.”
Archer agreed, saying that UK fleets are already leading the way on EV adoption and that should not be undermined.
He said: “Fleets have been a really good way to introduce EVs to the UK car parc rapidly and this also provides the added bonus of more affordable used EVs to private owners down the line.”
While Archer does applaud the ambition to phase out the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles, including a 2040 deadline for a zero emission HGV industry, he told delegates there are still some areas that need more focus.
He said: “It’s still a bit of a postcode lottery on public infrastructure for charging, so local authorities and businesses need to be fully engaged to make a success of it.
“The electric truck industry and infrastructure support also needs more focus and attention.
“Companies that are switching to alternative fuels like bio-methane should be applauded, but if we’re looking at the future there is not going to be enough production to properly support the demand needed from the HGV industry.”
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