James Smith, programme manager at LoCITY – TfL's low-emission commercial vehicle programme, shares his thoughts on the latest developments affecting the industry
LoCITY are currently mapping commercial demand for rapid charging and we will present this to the Mayor’s new Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Taskforce in the autumn. We are also interested in matching businesses that share similar aspirations for an area so we can collectively work with authorities to solve local issues. It really is quick, easy and effective – www.evtaskforce.locity.org.uk.
The government recently published its wide ranging Road to Zero policy document that links nicely with what we are trying to achieve in London via LoCITY. A good supply of commercial vehicles, strong customer base, and a fit-for-purpose infrastructure network were all mentioned as critical and LoCITY currently has products which supplement all those key areas. London already has tight targets for a transition towards zero emissions in the Mayor’s Transport Strategy. This means that businesses will need to adapt quickly within the Capital, it’ll be tough but should put us a step ahead, especially when Clear Air Zones are sporadically implemented across the country.
We were pleased to see plans for a Road Transport Emissions Advice Group that will provide consumers with clearer information and that the UK are committed to vehicle emissions regulation that will be at least as ambitious as the EU. It was good to see reference to the work being done to develop an Ultra Low Emission Truck standard and that this may involve addressing the impact of Transport Refrigeration Units (TRU) on emission profiles. LoCITY did some preliminary work on TRUs and the report is available online. We’ll be watching to see if the government decide that the lower taxation of red diesel is preventing uptake of lower emission TRU technologies. Any changes to fuel duty could have an immediate impact on the use of non-road mobile machinery and therefore air quality in urban areas.
On that note it was worrying to read that DVSA have begun conducting roadside checks and have found almost one in 12 trucks have had their emissions control systems disabled. A strong deterrent is needed as this behaviour undermines the good work being done by the majority of operators. Next month I’ll be able to report back on our Urban Distribution HGVs roadshow.
Preparations for our annul conference in September are in full swing. GreenFleet are doing a great job getting together a wide selection of vehicles and speakers. If you’ve not attended a LoCITY event before then this will be the one to get to – 9am, Wednesday 5 September at Kempton Park Racecourse.