The Cold Chain Federation will this week bring together experts from across the industry to consider how government can help it bring greener refrigerated vehicles to market.
A series of virtual events are being held by the group this week looking at how the entire cold chain can realistically switch from diesel-powered technologies in order to meet the government’s own net zero aims to fully eliminate or offset national carbon emissions by 2050.
A core focus of the week will be ongoing resistance from the federation to the recent decision to end tax relief on red diesel that is used in refrigerated food transport at a time where there are limited alternatives for the sector.
The Cold Chain Federation will ask government to help accelerate greener technologies for refrigerated vehicles, as opposed to pursuing what it claims will be a “short-sighted tax hike” that could hinder industry investment in more effective fleet decarbonisation.
A core focus of the federation’s 'Cold Chain Live! ‘Future of Transport’ focus will be on supporting a move away from using diesel fuel as a power source for refrigerated trucks, while at the same time maintaining food safety and not increasing costs to retailers and consumers.
Shane Brennan, chief executive of the Cold Chain Federation, said refrigerated vehicles remain a fundamental part of the cold chain globally – making decarbonisation of such technologies an important focus.
Mr Brennan added that cold chain hauliers were aware of the need to transition away from diesel use, with trials already underway on alternatives technologies, especially for smaller vehicles.
He said, “But robust alternatives to diesel power are not yet widely available for the efficient, reliable refrigeration required for some types of the vehicles needed for the transport of chilled and frozen food. We want to work with government to identify the gaps and assess the technological advances that should be fast-tracked so we can set out together an ambitious but realistic roadmap for decarbonising refrigerated vehicles.”
An announcement in the March 2020 Budget that tax relief for red diesel was to end would actually undermine planned work by the industry, according to the federation.
Mr Brennan said, “The benefit will be to the government’s coffers now at the expense of the long-term environmental, social and economic benefits of a greener future for refrigerated transport.”