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fuel truck driving on freeway SBI 300977307 - Business Express

More than 50% of operators would be more inclined to try alternative fuels if there was a financial incentive from the government

The latest ‘Industry Monitor Report’ by Asset Alliance Group has found that operators are seeking incentives before switching to alternative fuels, as 41% of operators are put off by the initial up-front costs, turning into one of the top concerns for commercial vehicle operators over the next 12 months.   

Asset Alliance Group have released their exclusive third annual report, ‘Industry Monitor 2021’, which reveals critical insights into the health of the road transport industry following the aftermath of COVID-19 and Brexit. The report is compiled from an in-depth survey involving more than 600 decision-makers from general haulage, supply chain, logistics, and own-account operator fleets.  

Euro-6 diesel lorries are certainly going to remain the first choice for most operators in the next few years: they are proven, reliable, emit very few emissions, but most importantly, they are accessible to businesses. Due to ever-tightening urban restrictions and operators looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint, the demand for alternative duels is swiftly increasing.   

Asset Alliance asked operators if they would be looking to acquire any alternatively fuelled HGVs in the next three years: 20% were looking to do so, while 29% had no plans now, and a further 51% had no current projects, but this might change.  

80% of those surveyed were not yet planning to move away from diesel; unsurprisingly, the cost was the most prominent barrier cited by operators. More than half (52%) would be more inclined to try alternative fuels if the government had a financial incentive, such as reduced tax or a scrappage scheme.   

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A further 41% were put off by initial up-front costs that can be associated with new technology. Half of the operators (51%) would also be encouraged if the national refuelling infrastructure was improved. Operators would also be keen to see non-financial incentives being explored for modern technology. 

For those looking to make the switch, Gas-powered trucks came out on top, with 8% looking at liquated natural gas (LNG) and 6% considering compressed natural gas (CNG).   

A further 9% planned to plug into battery electric vehicle technology, while 6% explored range-extended electric options.  

Drop-in fuels such as hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) and gas to liquid (GTL), as well as hydrogen, were also being looked at by 2% of operators exploring alternatives to diesel.   

“As we emerge from the toughest set of circumstances in our lifetime, we felt the time was right to take the pulse of the road transport sector again. This year’s report is our most in-depth to date, and we have received a record number of responses. The results are really intriguing, and there is a lot to be optimistic about.” Asset Alliance Group CEO, Willie Paterson 

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