UK becomes first country in the world to pledge zero-emission HGVs by 2040

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The days of noisy, diesel-drinking, polluting delivery and logistics trucks are numbered as the UK will become the first country in the world to commit to phasing out ICE HGVs for non-zero emission heavy goods vehicles.

All new heavy goods vehicles in the UK will be zero-emission by 2040. Vehicles weighing 26 tonnes and under by 2035, with all new HGVs sold in the UK to be zero emission by 2040 the UK government has confirmed. This, combined with the UK’s 2030 phase out for petrol and diesel cars and vans, represents a pledge to end the sale of all polluting road vehicles within the next two decades.

A group of ministers and industry leaders committed to working towards 100% zero emission new car and van sales by 2040 or earlier met at Transport Day at COP26. Thirty-two countries, 6 major vehicle manufacturers (GM, Ford, Mercedes, BYD, Volvo, JLR), 39 cities, states and regions, 28 fleets and 13 investors all jointly set out their determination for all new car and van sales to be zero emission by 2040 globally and 2035 in leading markets.

The industry has reacted positively. Jon Lawes, Managing Director at Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions said:

“We welcome the significant announcement with the UK becoming the first country to commit to phasing out new non-zero emission HGVs within the next two decades.

Clarity on the decarbonization roadmap of HGVs marks a real step change, however, the journey to achieve greener HGVs is complex with the transition requiring urgent technological development of viable alternative fuels and refueling infrastructure.

In the same way we’ve already made huge strides in the decarbonization of cars and vans, we now need to see Government and the haulage industry come together to accelerate the transition of HGVs which is integral to realizing a comprehensive cleaner UK road transport network.

With many of the world’s leading automotive manufacturers committing to the supply of zero emission vehicles globally by 2040, Transport Day has been a defining moment on the journey to tackling climate change.”

However, Randolph Brazier, Director of Innovation and Electricity Systems at Energy Networks Association which represents the UK and Ireland’s energy networks businesses said:

“At COP26’s transport day the government’s raft of announcements marks a visible change for the UK’s roads. We remain laser-focused on delivering the often invisible changes needed to enable this; a smarter, more robust power system and the green gases needed for heavier transport. However, we need deeper collaboration with government and local authorities along with early investment to prepare the ground for this seismic shift.”

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