HGV Pathway - Zero Emission Truck Taskforce - Meeting 7 - 14 September 2023

Minutes of the Zero Emission Truck Taskforce (ZETT) - Meeting 7 - Considering draft actions for Pathway

10 May 2023, 3pm to 4:30pm

Microsoft Teams


  • Ben Todd - Co-Chair (Ballard)
  • Morna Cannon - Co-Chair (Transport Scotland)
  • Chris Ashley (RHA)
  • Willie Thomson (STUC Unite)
  • Sukky Choongh (SMMT)
  • Denise Beedell (Logistics UK)
  • Paul Smith (Scannia)
  • Catherine Bowen (Logistics UK)
  • Bob Bridges (Transport Scotland)
  • Daniel Musenga-Grant (HVS)
  • Aurelien Auchard (Neo T)
  • Oscar Jonsson (Neo T)


  • Neil Park (Volvo)
  • Gary Cox (Transport Scotland)
  • Sally Gilson (RHA)


Co-chairs introduced the meeting and Morna offered her thanks to the group for all the work that has taken place via the ZETT Working Groups. There was an explanation that the meeting would have three key areas of focus – indicative actions suggested in the Pathway draft, the key messages in the Pathway  and the Pathway’s design and launch.

Minutes and actions of the last meeting

Minutes were reviewed from the previous meeting and the group were all content. Updates were provided on two actions:

  • Ballard to explore Global trial data - nothing available yet but they confirmed they will be able to share.
  • SMMT data sharing - This can be a timely process so it was suggested for Heriot Watt project they are encouraged to talk to OEMs individually.

Session 1 - Feedback on indicative actions for the ZETT Pathway

To support the pre-reading, each working group (electricity, hydrogen, skills and vehicles) provided a summary of the work they had conducted over summer and their emerging actions for the Pathway. (The hydrogen working group overview was provided by Karen Geekie of Transport Scotland as the hydrogen lead was unavailable.)

There was a consensus from the leads that it had been an effective process and the groups had worked well together and it had been a positive experience and there was much goodwill to decarbonise. It was also expressed that Transport Scotland had done a good job in bridging the different sectors together and bringing in stakeholders.

The discussion then moved to whether the actions both in the pre-reading and described by the leads were ambitious enough.

There was consensus from the group that  the actions presented by each working group are the right ones and are reasonably fit for purpose for the next 3-5 years given how developed markets etc are. It was agreed that it would likely be wise to repeat this process and review at the 3-5 year mark to review and take stock of any additional requirements.

Points of interest from the discussions:

  • There is a key dependency on the Heriott Watt project for the infrastructure actions to deliver confidence.
  • Guidance is a key theme across multiple working groups and needs to be tied together.
  • Whether the actions would help encourage investor confidence was raised but NeoT were having connection difficulties and were unable to respond on this point and it will be followed up via email.
  • If operators can trial the vehicles it is really powerful and needs to be encouraged.
  • Scannia would be interested in exploring taking part in a roadshow/demonstration of electric vehicles.

Session 2 - Key messages to the haulage sector within the Pathway

The Chair asked for the group’s feedback on the key messages proposed in the Pathway.

The first message included is that battery electric HGVs are available now for smaller urban and back to base operations and operators with these types of operations should transition to battery electric options as soon as feasible.

On the whole there was consensus for the group on this message. However it was highlighted that for organisations with solely a hydrogen focus this message would need to be carefully worded and consequently there would be a chance that these organisations might struggle to add their name to the pathway.

The second message included is that large fleets should be planning their transition strategy now and working with energy providers to ensure infrastructure is available as required.

There was consensus form the group and trade bodies noted their larger members knew they had a responsibility to the rest of the sector in this regard. It was also noted that this would help develop a second hand market in the future.

For hydrogen it was noted this would be expected due to the high initial capital costs and that currently it is the larger organisations that could absorb the higher TCO over the vehicles lifetime.

It was noted however that we must be careful with this messaging; and it should be more focused on the use cases rather than the size of the operator to make the messaging inclusive and not deter smaller organisations.

The group also noted that for now the messaging  on this point needs to be gentle but it is likely obligations will come in the future. The current focus needs to consider the Just Transition angle and talk about sharing the risk appropriately and that for those in the position to take more risk now should do so.

How these messages are portrayed can be reconsidered when there is a future review of the actions.

Session 3 - Initial discussion on design and launch of the Pathway

The group felt that the document should primarily be forward facing and not labour too much on what the ZETT had done up to this point.

It was noted that the document would have different audiences so needed both clear high level messages with clear milestones for those just wanting an overview and then also more detailed information behind it for those who needed it. It was also felt that any key asks of government needed to be clear.

The group felt the Pathway document would need to be reviewed, perhaps on an annual basis to review progress and see if the objectives were on track. This could be reviewed in time with any political shifts.

There were no strong views on the layout, but the group all asked for as much notice as possible for any contributions, reviews and approval for logos etc.

Published Date 19 Mar 2024 Type Topic