How low can you go?
Transporting goods from A to B isn’t a new concept. For several thousand years, merchants transported cargo from across the world to bring home exotic food, jewels and materials. The spread of the railways in the 18th Century and the introduction of intermodalism (containers moving efficiently between ships, trucks and trains) revolutionised the industry in the 1960s.
The last 50 years has seen a boom in the freight industry. UK domestic freight activity by heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) alone carried 1.4 billion tonnes worth of goods, with an additional 7.8 million tonnes imported and exported between the UK and EU. HGVs are estimated to account for 17% of UK Green House Gas emissions from road transport and 21% of road transport NOx emissions. To reach the 2050 air quality and C02 targets, we need to see an urgent and substantial change in the industry.
What is the best solution to enable us to decarbonise our commercial vehicles? Can we move to the electrification of lorries, consider hydrogen powertrains, or look to other technological advances to increase vehicle efficiency? Or will drones and other futuristic delivery mechanisms replace the transportation system as we know it?
Each solution brings its own challenges and one size does not fit all. Our commercial and heavy goods vehicles are each unique and fine-tuned to their tasks in freight, agricultural and construction industries alike.
So in the challenge to lower emissions from our commercial vehicles, the real question is – how low can you go?