Scottish Wholesale Associations joins new Zero Emission Truck Taskforce

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By James Bayley Published:  13 May, 2022 Scottish Wholesale Association (SWA) has been invited to join Scotland’s new Zero Emission Truck Taskforce to recognise its ongoing work with members as part of its ‘Decarbonisation of the Wholesale Industry’ project.

The Taskforce comprises industry leaders from the road haulage, logistics, manufacturing, energy and finance sectors who will partner to identify and co-design creative and practical solutions to maximising opportunities. It will also tackle any hurdles about technology, charging infrastructure, costs, finance, and operator engagement in the transition to zero-emission trucks. The new collaboration will set out the steps required to enable a swift transition to new technologies, identify where further development is needed, and explore new business models.

Consultants Mott MacDonald and KPMG are working with Transport Scotland to support the Zero Emission Truck Taskforce, which will run until March 2023. SWA chief executive Colin Smith, who is representing the wholesale industry on the Taskforce, said: “We’re working at pace to explore opportunities and find solutions as we start planning the transition to zero-emission trucks, so we’re honoured to be invited by the Scottish Government to sit on the Zero Emission Truck Taskforce. “The SWA recently partnered with Volvo Trucks to offer our members more detailed insight into the electric vehicle and infrastructure market as part of our ‘Decarbonisation of the Wholesale Sector’ project.

This was hugely successful, with 19 wholesalers and some supplier members participating. “Members also had the opportunity to road test the UK’s first commercially available fully electric Volvo FL 16t HGV, which was brought to the event at the Donald Malcolm Heritage Centre in Linwood, especially for the SWA. “The feedback we’ve had since the event has been extremely encouraging and Neil Park, the managing director for Volvo Truck & Bus Centre, North & Scotland, said that his business had taken ‘massive learnings’ from the event, which is something he would like to see happen again.

He was also impressed with our sector’s proactive approach. “There’s a lot to take on board as we grapple with how best to achieve zero-emission trucks, and it’s our job to help members cut through the myriad information available to guide them on the right path to decarbonise their businesses.” Meanwhile, the SWA is inviting members to get involved in the sub-working groups formed within the Taskforce and where the SWA will be active members of each.

These range from trials and data to finance and infrastructure, with members having a real opportunity to share and shape Scotland’s investment in zero-emissions trucks. The SWA has already shared the findings of the first phase of its ‘Decarbonisation of the Wholesale Sector’ project, which focused on our vehicles and fleets, calculating and reporting on the sector’s fleet emissions baseline and producing a fleet emissions roadmap to net zero. Smith added: “This project is one of the most detailed undertaken by any sector and is based on real data and evidence, compiled directly from our wholesale members.

This is a fascinating and important time for the SWA and our members as we help shape the future sustainability of our sector and Scotland’s food and drink supply chain.”

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