The Mineral Products Association (MPA) has set out its support for shifting road haulage to zero emission Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) alongside the key criteria that need to be met.
Responding to a consultation from the Department for Transport (DfT), MPA supports phase-out dates for selling non-zero emission diesel HGVs, but only if suitable vehicles are available and the necessary infrastructure is in place in good time.
HGVs account for 16% of UK transport emissions despite accounting for only 1% of road vehicles. In the mineral products sector HGVs deliver essential materials including cement, aggregates, concrete and asphalt to where they are needed in construction. At present, the vast majority of these vehicles are diesel-powered.
MPA members are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and have a strong track record of meeting emissions requirements for their fleets – such as the Ultra Low Emission Zone in London.
MPA has set out two key tests to enable the switch away from diesel entirely:
- Firstly, suitable vehicles must be available that can affordably fulfil the operational needs of MPA members and their customers.
- Secondly, the infrastructure for charging or refueling must be deployed widely to enable businesses to operate efficiently.
Robert McIlveen, Public Affairs Director at MPA said: “Our members are committed to the UK’s net zero goal and will switch away from diesel once they can buy or lease affordable vehicles they can run and refuel with confidence. 2040 is a fair way off for the heaviest vehicles and the manufacturers are already bringing forward early models, so our main concern is the infrastructure.
“There’s no point having a hydrogen truck if you can’t refuel it easily. Electric charging is a worry with the cost of upgrading the grid on top of the UK already having the highest industrial electricity prices in Europe. Tackling these challenges is an urgent and essential job for Government.”
The DfT’s consultation can be viewed here: www.gov.uk/government/consultations/heavy-goods-vehicles-ending-the-sale-of-new-non-zero-emission-models
About the Mineral Products Association:
The Mineral Products Association (MPA) is the trade association for the aggregates, asphalt, cement, concrete, dimension stone, lime, mortar and silica sand industries. With the merger of British Precast, and affiliation of the British Association of Reinforcement (BAR), Eurobitume, MPA Northern Ireland, MPA Scotland and the British Calcium Carbonate Federation, it has a growing membership of 520 companies and is the sectoral voice for mineral products. MPA membership is made up of the vast majority of independent SME quarrying companies throughout the UK, as well as the 9 major international and global companies. It covers 100% of UK cement and lime production, 90% of GB aggregates production, 95% of asphalt and over 70% of ready-mixed concrete and precast concrete production. In 2018, the industry supplied £16 billion worth of materials and services to the Economy. It is also the largest supplier to the construction industry, which had annual output valued at £172 billion in 2018. Industry production represents the largest materials flow in the UK economy and is also one of the largest manufacturing sectors.