• I stressed members need time to make changes but can only do that once they have clarity on what is likely to be the preferred fuel choice. I said time was important, not just because fleets aren’t bought everyday but there may need to be changes to depots
  • Minister recognised time was required and every effort was being made to be clear, but technology was still emerging and important to get this right. They are putting a lot on the trials of alternative fuels, more details to follow shortly, some of which involve our members. They expect the conclusions from these (2024/25) will inform future decisions but hopeful of progress. Also stressed the future freight plan published last year acknowledges the challenge but also the investment private businesses will need to make to be ready. Hopes as technology emerges alternative fuel vehicles will also be cheaper and increased choice.
  • Minister stressed there would be full consultation with businesses, including us on future HGV (however, we may have to wait until after the trials)
  • Wasn’t keen on further incentives for reduced emissions vehicles and fuels now


    • Not keen on subsidising cost of electric LCVs. However Minister said he had spoken to manufacturers recently and felt investment in technology would bring down the cost
    • Interested in the point on electric vehicles being heavier needing more training. Asked for specific example so he could follow up


    • Big support coming for local authorities to incentivise more charging and rapid charging points – not sure when this will be announced
    • I asked about whether this would be mandatory for supermarket carparks (said about the need for additional electricity supply) he said no but thought local authorities would want to work with private businesses with large car parks and mentioned Tesco’s investment in charging

     Next steps

    • He said he would write to us covering these points – I’m guessing he will flag announcements in that
    • He also said he would speak to the Roads Minister about the point about heavier electric LCVs if we give him examples
    • Officials are very happy to sit down with members to explain the basis of the trials, when they will report and take questions more generally on transport strategy – BRC will follow up with them to get a date in the diary