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The UK government’s planned move to ban new diesel and petrol vehicles from being sold by 2040, as part of a move toward every vehicle being zero emissions by 2050, is well understood and is in line with changes the industry has been making over the past few decades. It is an opportunity for vehicle manufacturers to accelerate ultra-low-emission vehicle R&D and product development.
It is positive news for the industry as we continue to seek cleaner and smarter ways of travel, but this announcement cannot be considered within a vacuum. To make a ban like this happen – and to make it happen successfully – government must ensure the right consumer incentives, policies and infrastructure are in place for those buying these vehicles, while continuing to invest in clean, efficient and convenient public transport.

Automotive manufacturers across the globe are already developing vehicles with electrified powertrains. This announcement won’t necessarily impact the industry from an R&D point of view, but it may well accelerate activity.

Passenger vehicles aside, the petrol and diesel ban announcement as well as recent announcements from other countries brings a huge challenge and opportunity for the commercial vehicle sector.

Commercial vehicles are at the heart of every-day logistics and make a significant contribution to every-day emissions, both inner city and intra-urban. They also present a different and more complex challenge when it comes to looking at applications of ULEV technology.

Horiba MIRA’s engineers have recently worked on a project with Dennis Eagle to develop a 20-tonne hybrid integrated urban commercial vehicle, which delivered a 50% reduction in refuse vehicles’ CO2 emissions per tonne of refuse collected. Solutions like these, along with brake regeneration, will enable greater electrification of medium-duty vehicle powertrains.

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