It wants to enable trucks powered by hydrogen, Compressed Natural Gas and Liquefied Natural Gas to be used on UK roads without additional authorisation, as long as they have been type-approved to the relevant fuel system safety and emissions standards.
“If we are to encourage the uptake of less polluting technologies, or those with lower CO2 output and global warming potential,” Transport Minister John Hayes said, “it is important that operators running cleaner vehicles do not suffer a competitive disadvantage.
“Our proposals do not require operators to change business practices or to purchase new vehicles. They are deregulatory and go a significant way to incentivising the uptake of less polluting vehicle technologies.”
At the same time, the DfT is proposing to remove the payload disadvantage facing operators using alternatively-fuelled trucks, increasing their maximum authorised weight by up to one tonne.
An update to an EU weights and dimensions directive coming into force in May means operators running on international routes will automatically receive the extra weight allowance, but the government wants to adopt the policy for domestic operations too.
A consultation on both proposals runs until November 2, with a view to putting the legislation through parliament by early 2017.