Written by Kunal Sawhney, CEO, Kalkine
The comprehensive plan of attaining the net zero status by the government of the United Kingdom is expanding as we speak. The issue of reducing the carbon footprint from the country needs all-inclusive actions as eliminating or reducing the number of fossil fuel driven passenger vehicles can’t lead to a worthwhile change.
With the government’s target of stopping the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles in the country, and eliminating all the petrol and diesel-powered passenger vehicles by 2035, there will be a consequential effect on the environment. This will effectively bring the carbon emissions from the passenger vehicles to zero, but there will be certain other pollution carriers that are increasingly affecting the climate.
The continuous passage of commercial vehicles has been one of the major areas of concern as they continue to increase the carbon footprint. The supply chain systems entirely dependent on petrol and diesel vehicles have contributed majorly to the overall carbon emissions, alongside the industrial emissions.
The situation has seemingly worsened in recent times, especially during the stern lockdown conditions, when everyone wanted their stuff to be home-delivered. Additionally, the movement of essential goods on long carriers has been conventionally high.
Now, the government has been planning to induct environment-friendly vehicles that can be introduced in the commercial fleets of the organisation, constructively reducing the carbon emissions from the environment. Of late, a trial conducted by the Department of Transport (DfT) has found green goods carriers to be more economical, environment-friendly and safer as compared to the standard vehicles.
The so-called greener and longer goods carriers can be rolled out from the next calendar year and can be introduced as a permanent part of the roads, paving the way for more technological advancements and innovations. These longer lorries can potentially bring down the overall carbon emissions as the industries build back in an climate-adaptive manner.
With the recent development, the government is now looking forward to launching the trial of heavier, 48 tonne freight, shortly. The introduction of longer-semi trailers (LST) has been achieved through the nine-year-long trials of the vehicles up to a length of 15.65 metres. According to the initial estimates of the DfT, the LSTs could remove up to 1 in 8 freight journeys by carrying the similar load in fewer lorries.
The all-round plan of decarbonising the transport system by reducing carbon emissions and vehicle congestion can bring very promising results as the nation progresses well ahead towards the ultimate objective of achieving a net zero status by 2050.
During the trials, it has been observed that the usage of LSTs will help reduce the number of traffic collisions following which the desired transport tasks can be met in fewer journeys.
With the prospective introduction of heavier-than-normal lorries, the carriers will be able to transport heavy containers directly to and from rail depots to increase the goods movement by trains across the country. At the moment, the maximum capacity of the lorries is 44 tonnes, as a result of which, the goods are transported through more lorries.