By working group chairs and Transport Scotland

This pathway represents 18 months of hard work and learning from all involved in the Zero Emission Truck Taskforce. Our task was to work collaboratively across haulage, manufacturing, energy, government, union and finance sectors to understand and overcome the barriers to zero emission HGVs in Scotland.

The stakes could not be higher. Both our economy and our society rely on goods being moved with speed and efficiency, and yet these freight movements currently emit substantial greenhouse gases. Many hauliers operate small fleets and want to decarbonise their operations but need to be confident in the commercial and technical changes ahead.

We have worked collectively to understand and address the hurdles to transition and are moving as fast as we believe can currently be achieved.

We do not underestimate the scale of the challenge – road haulage is a complex and highly competitive sector with multiple existing pressures, differing operational needs and a wide variety of business models. Transitioning to zero emission HGVs will require additional investment from all the sectors involved in the Taskforce (energy, finance, government, haulage, skills and manufacturing). We will all have to explore new ways of doing things and take on some elements of risk, recognising that each of us is dependent on others playing their role.

We are in the early stages of the move to battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell trucks. Technology and business models are developing fast. We recognise that we have an incomplete picture at this stage and transition will require further action once markets are more mature. In addition to delivering the actions we have committed to, we will collectively revisit the pathway in three years to build on the progress made.

The Taskforce focussed on trucks being fully zero emission at the tailpipe as soon as possible, in line with other transport modes and sectors. It did not consider transitional solutions which are already in use (such as low carbon fuels) and recognised that parallel work is underway to transfer long distance goods to rail and water where feasible.

Achieving change requires deep collaboration and for all of us to be open to embracing new partnerships, technologies and financial models. We would like to thank everyone who has engaged in this process and provided their time and expertise to help shape this pathway. It has been deeply encouraging to understand the breadth of change already underway.