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Call for emissions-linked fuel rebate
By adminCategories: NewsPublished On: Monday 6 November 2023
The Road Haulage Association (RHA) last month urged the government to incentivise hauliers and coach operators to shift to low-carbon fuels like hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) through the introduction of an emissions-linked rebate.
“A move to make low-carbon fuels such as HVO more cost effective could help the industry accelerate its decarbonisation journey,” said the RHA. “Whilst zero-emission technologies are developed, low-carbon fuels can help operators reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90 per cent.”
The call for the rebate, which came ahead of the Chancellor’s autumn statement scheduled for 22 November, followed the news earlier in October that Green Biofuels Limited (GBF), said to be the UK’s largest supplier of renewable HVO, had gone into administration.
HVO has been promoted by truck manufacturers as a quick and easy means of decarbonising transport activities while using existing vehicles. But in the absence of any duty concession from government, the fuel has remained more expensive for operators than conventional mineral diesel.
GBF administrators EY told Transport Operator: “The Company has entered administration as it had insufficient funds to continue trading. The Joint Administrators intend to continue to trade the business whilst they seek purchasers for the business and assets of the Company.”
Energy giant bp had announced its acquisition of a 30 per cent stake in GBF last year, stating that its investment would: “support GBF’s growth as it works with businesses looking to transition away from using traditional diesel fuel in their assets, such as transport vehicles, temporary generators and construction machinery.”
The RHA additionally urged ministers to increase the funding band for heavy vehicle mechanic apprenticeships to £23,000, which it said could incentivise training providers to run programmes amidst a growing shortage of mechanics. It also advocated reform of the Apprenticeship Levy “into a more flexible Skills Levy” which could help address industry skills gaps – and planning reforms to make it easier to secure permission for truck parking facilities, as well as ringfenced funding for lorry parking.