Plan Insurance Blog

How Can Your Fleet Transition Away From Fossil Fuels?

Last week, on national clean air day we joined a Freight in the City seminar updating fleet operators on the latest fleet decarbonisation developments. Here we pass on the information to help HGV and van operators plan their route towards emission reductions.

Freight in the City, which aims to inform operators regarding the very best urban logistics technology and knowledge, gathered a collection of industry experts, such as logistics firm DPD, through to Zemo Partnership (Accelerating Transport to Zero Emissions), the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, Energy Saving Trust and Tyseley Energy Park. Each provided information and innovations relating to the topic of fleet decarbonisation. The aim was to provide insights into what fleet decarbonisation currently means for the road transport industry and freight operators?

Poor air quality in UK town is an increasingly high profile issue. Bath and Birmingham have recently followed London in introducing CAZs – clean air zones. These are a radical strategies to tackle poor air but more needs to be done to hit the Government’s target of reducing greenhouse gases to Net 0 by 2050.

Could your firm utilise electric vehicles now? Are lower emission fuels a more practical solution in the interim? Is the infrastructure in place to support the use of LNG? There are so many questions when it comes to fleet decarbonisation that it can be discouraging. However this seminar offers lots of incredibly useful insights and can point you in the direction of valuable sources of information.

When it comes to decarbonised vehicles fleet insurance should not be a concern. As a company we’re passionate about sustainability and have for example sourced markets for alternatively fuelled fleets and even arranged schemes for electric van insurance manufacturers.

Below we’ve provided a brief description of each contributor’s presentation along with a time stamps for each one to help direct you to the sections that may be of interest or relevance to your firm.

Fleet Decarbonisation Video

2 minutes 30 seconds – Councillor Waseem Zaffar, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, Birmingham City Council gave a presentation on the city’s ambition of becoming net zero 20 years ahead of the Government’s imposed target. The council launched its own CAZ on June 1st which is the biggest project of its kind outside of London. Aiming to get the area to legally compliant levels.

10 minutes – Gloria Esposito, Head of Sustainability, at Zemo Partnership (formerly low carbon vehicle partnership) discussed what is currently known in regards to the government’s route map for CVs to achieve zero-carbon emissions. Westminster policy is focused on the long term target of 2050 but industry is still awaiting the detailed transport decarbonisation plan. Results of a consultation on HGV decarbonisation targets are due in the Summer.

27 minutes 30 seconds – David Horsfall, director, of the UK’s first publicly accessible energy park, Tyseley Energy Park, discusses the role of public-access refuelling and how this can help local operators trial cleaner solutions. The firm has overseen the development of a hugely innovative 2.5 acre site at a cost of circa £48 million.

41 minutes – Q&A and discussion

51 minutes – John Comer, product manager, Volvo Trucks: gives an overview of the wide range of new technology and fuels on the market and under development for commercial vehicle operators. The various options of: Electric, Hydrogen, Liquefied Natural Gas, Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil, Gas to Liquid, Biomass to Liquid are all discussed at points.

1 hours 9 minutes – Colin Smith, programme manager, Energy Saving Trust: discusses the new support tools found at that should help operators take their first steps in decarbonising their fleets. The Department for Transport backed organisation aims to assist freight operators with their efforts to reduce by emissions and costs. There are links to useful support schemes and resources as well as a very simple to use fuel cost cutter calculator. Additionally The Freight Portal provides numerous case studies of companies of various sizes that have gone through the fleet decarbonisation process and shared their learnings.

1 hours 18 minutes – Catherine Bowen, senior policy advisor, BVRLA: the role of leasing and rental in helping operators make the transition away from diesel. Their membership, which covers almost 1 in 10 vehicles on UK roads, are campaigning for greater consistency across the various regional authoritiy’s clean air initiatives which will soon cover 9 cities and use the accronyms CAZ, ULEZ, LEZ and ZEZ. They’ve provided the website to assist operators with keeping on top of their requirements and to try and avoid the potential confusion that the diverging policies could cause.

1 hours 32 minutes – Olly Craughan, head of CSR, DPD Group UK: explains how parcel firm DPD is targeting a substantial reduction in the carbon footprint of its fleet. By the end of 2021 it will have 1700 fully electric vehicles compared to just 149 in January 2020. Over 100 million parcels will be delivered by these vehicles in 2025 which will be 25% of all volume. Getting to this milestone is not without its obstacles and Olly discusses in detail how the firm intends to tackle these challenges.

1 hour 51 minutes – Q&A and discussion

Don’t let insurance be a barrier to decarbonisation. If you require insurance for alternatively fuelled fleets our expert team will be happy to assist and provide relevant information.

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