Without urgent action, the UK Government will fail to meet its emission reduction targets for heavy-duty trucks. Despite an aggressive target of a 20% reduction by 2025, emissions from heavy-duty trucks are still rising – with no sign of that changing in the near future.
In support of these targets, Westminster Commission for Road Air Quality is petitioning government for urgent duty reductions for alterative fuels such as LPG. With widespread adoption of hydrogen and electric-powered trucks still many years away, eliminating duty on the LPG for commercial vehicles is perhaps the only government policy initiative likely to impact emissions from heavy-duty trucks in the short term.
The addvantage system, which partially substitutes LPG for diesel, and is easily retrofitted in four hours, achieves immediate reductions in CO2 emissions of 23%.
In addition to reducing emissions, zero fuel duty on LPG for commercial vehicles would generate significant additional tax. The current tax raised from duty on LPG for commercial vehicles is close to zero. Let’s assume that an average truck does 100,000 miles per annum at an average of 8mpg. At £1.57/litre for diesel and £0.53/litre for LPG, retrofitting the addvantage system delivers a net saving of £8,563/annum for each truck. This would drop straight to the bottom line, generating an additional £2,151 in corporation tax (25% as of April this year).
There are 400,000 heavy-duty trucks in the UK. If 10% of these trucks were retrofitted with the addvantage system, this would translate to £85m in additional corporation tax.
Government would want to protect duty on LPG generated by passenger cars, but this would be easy to manage. By only exempting private supplies of LPG to commercial fleet operators, forecourt sales would continue to be taxed.
We support Westminster Commission for Road Air Quality’s campaign for duty reductions on alternative fuels and call on Government to eliminate fuel duty of LPG for commercial vehicles immediately. It will generate a significant increase in taxes raised. It will improve profitability for the struggling haulage sector. And it is almost the only means to contribute to meeting the UK’s specific targets for emissions reduction from heavy trucks in the short term.
The addvantage system is proven to reduce CO2 emissions by 23%, it is available today and can be retrofitted to existing trucks in a matter of hours. Government should encourage adoption of proven technologies like this, jut as they have successfully done for electric-powered cars.
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