The Irish logistics sector is committed to transitioning to cleaner Heavy-Duty Vehicles (HDVs) but Government procrastination on promised grants and infrastructure development is stalling this change for the Irish fleet, according to Aidan Flynn, General Manager of the Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTAI).
“The Irish Government pledged to launch its Alternatively-Fuelled HDV Purchase Grant Scheme in January 2021 but it is yet to materialise.”
The FTAI is urging the Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan, TD, to fast track the delivery of the grant to make the decarbonisation of road transport feasible. “The FTAI’s members are keen to switch to low emission vehicles as soon as possible, but with HDVs fuelled by electricity, compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, and hydrogen fuel cell vastly more expensive to purchase than their diesel counterparts, financial support is needed, and it is needed urgently. Many of our members are waiting on receiving the promised scheme funds before committing to purchasing alternatively fuelled vehicles, stalling their vehicle replacement programmes until the grant launch.”
And, with so many businesses choosing to lease HDVs rather than purchase the vehicles, the FTAI is urging the government to ensure vehicles of this type are also included in the scheme or else risk further delay to the transition to alternatively fuelled vehicles.
“FTAI’s members also need to see the roll out of the required refuelling infrastructure which has been promised for some time; installation of these refuelling points has been prohibitively slow. If the Irish Government is truly committed to transitioning road transport to a zero-emission industry, it must act in a manner that reflects this ambition. While the logistics industry is showing great leadership and drive – for example, Gas Networks Ireland has just launched its own €2.9m Compressed Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Scheme – the Government must step up to lead the zero-emission charge.”