New coalition launches to accelerate adoption of electric HGVs

Image: Wincanton

The eFREIGHT 2030 consortium is being chaired by former Business Secretary Sir Vince Cable and is backed with funding from the Department for Transport and Innovate UK.

Its mission is to support the UK Government’s aim to end the sale of new HGVs which are not zero-emission by 2040. An earlier deadline of 2035 has been set for smaller HGVs weighing under or equal to 26 tonnes.

Consortium members will trial new vehicles, charging technologies and digital platforms, collecting data and sharing learnings to help disseminate best-practice information and identify persistent challenges. Energy Systems Catapult is overseeing this part of the project.

This week, the 13 initial member businesses of eFREIGHT 2030 have been confirmed. They are Expect Distribution, Kuehne+Nagel, Maritime Transport, Menzies Distribution, Welch’s Transport, Wincanton, Marks & Spencer; DAF Trucks, Renault Trucks, Scania, Dynamon, Voltempo Group and Fleete Group.

Collectively, these businesses will introduce 100 electric HGVs and 32 new charging locations across the UK this decade.

It is hoped that this will catalyse wider uptake across the sector. eFREIGHT 2030 has set a vision for the UK’s publicly accessible network of electric HGV charging hubs reaching 1MW by the end of the decade. It has also set aside several of the vehicles for shorter-term use by smaller businesses that work in partnership with consortium members, thus enabling them to conduct their own trials and assess their own business cases for fleet electrification.

Cable said: “We are delighted to announce the line-up of the eFREIGHT 2030 founding members. Each member has a longstanding history and experience in transport and logistics and is contributing significantly to the consortium’s shared vision to demonstrate how eHGVs can replace conventional HGVs at scale using British technology.

“The bringing together of so much operational and technical experience within the eFREIGHT 2030 consortium offers a unique opportunity to decarbonise the road freight transport sector in the coming months and years. We look forward to sharing many specific examples as the programme advances.”

Data released recently by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) confirmed that 56% more battery-electric HGVs were registered in the first quarter of 2024 than in the first quarter of 2023.

However, zero-emissions vehicles still have just a 0.5% of market share in the UK’s HGV space.

Related article: Global heavy-duty vehicle manufacturers falling short on EV transition, research finds

Comments (1)

  1. Richard Phillips says:

    But what percentage of the electricity will be generated by gas powered turbines??
    Not simple.

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