For many years now, HGVs have held the blame for the increased levels of emissions on the UK’s roads; and to be honest, the people are correct. While there are far more cars driving on the roads than HGVs, the cars rarely travel as far or for as long as HGVs do. It would make sense, then, that the millions of HGVs travelling millions of miles on a daily basis across the globe can cause an emissions problem. However, what if there were certain methods that the HGV air pollution problem could be reduced?

The introduction of automatic HGV systems, such as those by Cummins and Tesla, are definitely one method available to deal with this emissions problem. However, will the smaller HGV companies be willing to invest large sums in these vehicles and more HGV training when the infrastructure to charge the HGV is not yet available across the UK?

The majority of larger vehicle companies, including DHL and the bigger American haulage businesses, have shown interest in automatic HGVs; however, the issue of increased air pollution remains as long as the smaller trucking companies continue to use the non-electric HGV models. Taking this into account, the tackling of the carbon emissions problem needs to be dealt with as soon as possible with other options and the government has recently introduced another official solution.

How Can a Longer HGV Help With Emissions?

The UK’s government has a simple plan stating that the emissions can be reduced by implementing longer lorries and trailers as HGVs. This solution is based on the fact that the vehicles are two metres longer than the maximum HGV size; therefore, it will be able to transport at least three more rows of goods than the original HGV. This additional length will maximise the HGV output while reducing the number of journeys to be made and, therefore, significantly lowering the emissions from the vehicle.

Current predictions for this solution estimate that if all HGVs were replaced, approximately 3,000 tonnes of carbon emissions will be eliminated over the course of ten years. Of course, there are certain concerns along with the benefits. The additional length can increase safety risks because of the UK’s narrow roads with tight corners.

Once again, this is a problem that can be monitored, tested and amended during a trial stage of development. In fact, the trial stage is already underway with approximately 1,800 of these longer HGV options already on the UK’s roads. It is stated that 2018 will see more of these types of longer HGVs appearing on the UK roads as the five-year trial continues.

What Is the Impact of the Electronic HGV?

While the idea of longer HGVs could be considered irrelevant by people following Tesla’s introduction of the electronic HGV, carbon emissions are an issue that is caused by fuel being burned as a means of running the vehicle’s engine. An electric car engine does not present with this and, in fact, overall electric vehicles do not present with any emissions at all – although there are arguments that using electricity in the form of a grid may not be emissions-free.

To reduce the number of carbon emissions and air pollution as a result of HGVs, the electric vehicles is by far one of the most beneficial solutions. The only problem is that will be difficult to afford for smaller companies and is a long-term solution; therefore, the longer HGV vehicle could be a more beneficial long-term alternative.

The length of this vehicle will influence many aspects for the driver, including navigation of the motorways, choosing which routes to use and manoeuvring along the roads. So, if this scheme is introduced and becomes commonplace, it will be necessary to train the drivers to use more substantial vehicles.