Fuel efficient 'aerodynamic' trucks given green light for UK roads

Freight and haulage companies are now able to deploy more aerodynamic vehicles across their fleets under new rules, which come into force in the UK this week and are expected to curb fuel consumption, carbon emissions, and air pollution from trucks.

By utilising trucks with elongated cab designs and more aerodynamic features fitted to the back, the government said drivers could benefit from clearer vision on the roads, while also allowing extra space and comfort for drivers and helping to reduce drag so as to enhance fuel efficiency.

Aerodynamic rear devices, such as flaps fitted to the back of trailers to reduce drag, have been outlawed on British roads since 1986, but fresh regulations which came into force yesterday have overturned these rules.

The Department for Transport (DfT) pointed to a 2013 study which found that these aerodynamic improvements to heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) could result in fuel savings of between seven and 15 per cent.

Roads Minister, Baroness Vere, hailed the change in regulations as "a brilliant step not just in our efforts to reduce emissions across our transport network, but also to improve safety on our roads".

"I hope operators will make use of these new regulations, introducing vehicles with these features into their existing fleets to reduce fuel consumption and boost safety, as we build back better from Covid," she said.

The government is also currently working on separate legislation to allow longer goods vehicles to be used on UK roads, having held a consultation on proposals last year which are similarly expected to result in improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions.

Phil Lloyd, head of engineering policy at trade association Logistics UK, welcomed the new regulations as "fantastic news for our transport sector" that will help to reduce fuel costs and emissions.

"These features are vital in helping to reduce emissions and improve air quality and Logistics UK welcomes the design of elongated cabs that improve driver vision, and provide drivers with much-needed additional comfort space," he said.

Source: Business Green