UK urged to electrify HGVs for net zero in £100bn investment plan

Analysts call for immediate action to electrify around 500,000 heavy goods vehicles in the UK, addressing nearly 20% of the country’s transport emissions

A new report from the Green Finance Institute (GFI) has emphasised the need for urgent actions to electrify approximately 500,000 heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) in the UK, aiming to align with net zero targets for the transport sector.

Released ahead of COP28, the report urges collaboration between the government, industry and private investors to seize a £100 billion investment opportunity and decarbonise the HGV sector.

HGVs currently contribute nearly 20% of the UK’s total transport emissions, equivalent to the combined carbon footprint of domestic and international air travel, buses and domestic shipping.

The GFI report identifies key barriers to the decarbonisation of HGVs, including perceived technology risks, higher costs and inadequate charging infrastructure.

To address these challenges, the report outlines 10 financial mechanisms, developed with input from global finance, freight, logistics and energy experts.

According to the report, by implementing charging infrastructure across the country, including depots and the strategic road network, the entire HGV fleet could be decarbonised, leading to a reduction in carbon emissions equivalent to removing 12 million cars from the road (18.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide).

The GFI’s report emphasises the necessity of providing finance to operators and landowners for the acquisition of zero emission trucks and the installation of associated infrastructure.

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