How Will The Diesel Scrappage Scheme Affect HGV Drivers?
In the past, we have been sure to bring you our avid readers, the latest in HGV and haulage news, as it happens. We've covered self-driving HGVs, electric HGVs and even the national driver shortage. And today, we bring you the latest blow to the HGV industry straight from the government itself - a total ban on diesel. That's right, the government intends to completely scrap diesel, and force diesel vehicles off the road, by 2040. But why ban diesel at all, and what impact will this have on the haulage industry in the years to come?
Why Ban Diesel?
It is well known now that diesel is a heavy polluter. That's why environmental secretary Michael Gove announced the government's plan to scrap diesel as a part of a greater move to tackle air pollution across the UK. As far as we know right now, the ban only refers to cars and vans and will not only prevent diesel vehicles from being sold in the future but require all drivers of them to switch to more eco-friendly or petrol vehicles. But that doesn't mean HGV drivers can breathe a big sigh of relief. It is highly likely that HGVs will be tackled in an entirely different regulation set - especially since HGVs are one of the heaviest pollutants on the road. But for now, it isn't clear on what the plan for HGVs is and what the transition process will be.
What we do know is that if diesel vehicles are banned, haulage companies across the country will be required to replace their entire fleet of vehicles with eco-friendly versions. This presents two problems. The first is that super eco-friendly HGV models - such as electric HGVs, aren't widely available yet. The second is that there are so few eco-friendly HGVs on the road and they have been around for such a short time that not enough data is available on how cost effective they will be to run. This means that haulage firms will be facing some serious financial outlays in aid of environmentally friendly vehicles.
The government has since announced that there will be a compensation measure in place for car drivers as part of the diesel eradication plan. Diesel car and van drivers will be offered between £1,000 and £2,000 in order to switch to a new, eco-friendly vehicles. Van drivers have even been promised the ability to hire bigger vehicles if they switch to an eco-friendly van. But since HGVs aren't being discussed in this plan, there is no way of knowing if the government plans to introduce similar measures for haulage firms.
So What Comes Next?
But for now, diesel and diesel vehicles are still perfectly legal and will be for many years to come. In order to start some positive change for the environment sooner, the government has introduced new regulations. These regulations involve charging diesel vehicles extra to use roads, park and even increase diesel fuel prices, with the aim to drive diesel vehicles off the road beforehand. This measure is called the T-charge (or Toxicity Charge) and will come into effect on the 1st of October this year. A far cry from Blair's claims that diesel is better for the environment than petrol, diesel drivers will now find themselves heavily penalised for their choice of fuel.
But it's not yet been confirmed if the diesel scrappage scheme will go ahead, but we do know that it is in the consultation phase right now. At HGV Training Prices, we promise to keep an eye on all announcements and bring you the latest news on the diesel scrappage scheme for HGVs as they become available. In the meantime, if you would like to discuss HGV emissions with us, get in touch with us today.