HGV Pathway - Zero Emission Truck Taskforce - Meeting 6 - 10 May 2023

Minutes of the Zero Emission Truck Taskforce (ZETT) - Meeting 6 - Working Group Updates

10 May 2023, 3pm to 4:30pm

Microsoft Teams


  • Ben Todd (Ballard Motive Solutions)
  • Thomas McLennan (British Vehicle and Licensing Association)
  • Steve Clayton (HV Systems)
  • Ken Russell (John G Russell)
  • Denise Beedell (Logistics UK)
  • Aurelian Achard (NEoT Capital)
  • Chris Ashley (Road Haulage Association)
  • Sally Gilson (Road Haulage Association)
  • Colin Smith - Co-chair, rotating (Scottish Wholesale Association)
  • Sukky Choongh (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders)
  • Willie Thomson (STUC - UNITE)
  • Morna Cannon - Co-chair (Transport Scotland - Low Carbon Economy)
  • Gary Cox (Transport Scotland - AMFC)
  • Neil Park (Volvo)
  • Gavin Summers (WH Malcolm)
  • Kevin Stewart, MSP (Scottish Government Minister for Transport)

Introductions from new Transport Scotland ZETT members

As both the previous Transport Scotland representatives have moved post, new members Gary Cox (Aviation, Maritime, Freight and Canals Directorate) and Morna Cannon (Low Carbon Economy Directorate) introduced themselves.

Minutes and actions of the last meeting

Minutes and actions were reviewed from the previous meeting.

Section 2 of the minutes was corrected – under International Partnerships, the original wording was “We need to see co-ordination of trial data and explore business models on HGVs – operators must talk to each other.” The word “operators” has been replaced with “all stakeholders”, better reflecting the discussion that took place.

Brief discussion exploring how working groups are developing

The hurdles have been well explored and the task now is to identify how to overcome them.

The groups all have members, as they develop additional people may be brought in for specific purposes.

One challenge is data. Much of what is needed does not exist for ICE HGVs as it has not been required until now.

Brief reflections from those present at the All Energy conference that morning, where the Minister for Transport chaired an HGV Decarbonisation panel

There was a strong focus on the collaboration needed, which was helpful.

Also a lot of reference to the skills required for the transition.

The bus decarbonisation presentation was of interest to many, both the level of detail and the investment that had been unlocked in that sector. It was noted that bus routes are fixed in a way that not all HGV routes are, and that all buses go back to base at night.

There is more to do, including moving from small, carefully chosen trials to larger and more varied routes/ demand profiles and sharing data more widely.

Action: Ballard will explore what global trial data they have that can be shared.

Welcome by the Minister for Transport

The Minister spoke briefly, emphasising:

  • The need for ambition when developing the Pathway, and the Scottish Government’s ambition to move quickly in HGV decarbonisation.
  • That Scotland is not alone in this transition – international partners are also moving at pace.
  • The role of collaboration and partnerships with new sectors.

Brief inputs from working groups

Each group gave a brief overview of progress to date. Common themes included:

  • The early stage that HGV transition is at.
  • Willingness from group members to explore transition.
  • Lack of existing data to inform business cases/ next steps.
  • The need for fiscal incentives to stimulate progress.
  • The need for new partnerships – transport with energy; new commercial finance partners and models; new requirements for on the job learning.

The Minister for Transport emphasised the cross cutting nature of the Scottish Government’s approach to decarbonisation, flagging that his colleague the Minister for Higher and Further Education would be interested in the findings of the Skills working group.

He acknowledged the difficult funding environment and touched on the potential role of the tax system in both incentivising ZE vehicles and disincentivising ICE.

A brief discussion took place on the importance of the language used, and the necessity to use shared terminology rather than a sector’s own jargon. Transport, energy, finance and planning all have complex vocabularies, and key terms are not always clear to all partners.

The Minister emphasized the need to engage with Regional Transport Partnerships as ambassadors and champions.

Timeline to finalise the Pathway

General acceptance that the timeline is ambitious, but feasible and necessary, given the climate emergency.

Members flagged that not everything will be fully clear by December, and the Minister emphasized that we can’t wait to have all the answers – we must move forward, being open and honest about what is not known. There is a need for living documents that evolve as circumstances change; the Taskforce must ensure that this is not a document that gathers dust on a shelf, but one that is fundamental to change.

Location of energy infrastructure - access to truck movement data

The Taskforce are supportive of the proposed project to scope the minimum en route charging and refuelling infrastructure that will be needed to unlock transition.

The following points were made in discussion:

  • Journey data is commercially sensitive and fleets will need to be assured of data protection before they will consider sharing it.
  • Trade associations are willing to promote the project to their members once the ask and data protection elements are clearly set out, but recognise that there are challenges in data sharing, particularly for leased fleets.
  • OEMs also have a certain amount of telematics data which could potentially be accessible.

Action: SMMT will explore what OEMs hold and their level of openness to sharing (if sufficient data protection is in place).

Reflections from the Minister

The Minister emphasized that he is expecting to see a clear and strong Pathway which sets a high level of ambition.

He welcomed the way in which the Pathway is being co-designed and will be co-owned by members, recognising that each of the ZETT members has an important role to play in delivering the transition. He recognised government’s role as part of that collaborative process and asked for a clear steer on where government intervention is crucial.

The Minister then left the meeting.

Setting future ZETT meeting dates

Two final meeting dates were set:

  • Thursday 14 September, 2pm to 4pm - Considering draft actions and pathway
  • Thursday 7 December, 10am to 12pm - Finalising the HGV Decarbonisation Pathway

Published Date 19 Mar 2024 Type Topic