WCRAQ Alternative Fuels and Vehicles Working Party launch

The Westminster Commission for Road Air Quality’s Alternative Fuels and Vehicles Working Party was the second of six launches this August. The meeting was attended by prominent industry experts and academics specialising in air monitoring across the field, including Electra Commercial Vehicles, JCB, Faun Zoeller, RVS, Thomas Autos and Dennis Eagle.

Richard Wenham, Chair of Alternative Fuels and Vehicles, hosted the Zoom call.

A range of industry experts and academics attended the meeting, ready to discuss the environmental issues that the fleet management industry faces. Notably, one attendant set out the struggle of opting towards cleaner fuels and vehicles, when practically the infrastructure is not yet readily available.

‘We would have electric vehicles, or use alternative fuels tomorrow, but there are significant challenges. Half of our fleet consists of smaller vans. We could use the Nissan Leaf electric vans, but our engineers would not be able to charge them at home as many of them have off-site parking. Our 3.5-tonne transits are not just modes of transport, but also tools to do jobs. Going electric simply is not an option as they would not have the range,’ the attendant concluded.

Richard Wenham set out the aims of the Alternative Fuels and Vehicles. He established that he views the Working Party in two components. Firstly, the objective is to tackle the issues and impact of fuels and vehicles on air quality in the medium-and-long term. Secondly, to address the problems surrounding specialist applications, such as the challenge of implementing a hydrogen infrastructure in the UK.

‘It is important to stay focused on the issue of air quality, not purely on carbon reduction. This Working Party must bring together studies in the public domain, as well as the latest research and developments,’ Wenham said.

The discussion travelled from the potential to build up the infrastructure for hydrogen locally, how the issues of polluting buses with a long-life span can be tackled, to clearing up the opaque message of what cleaner vehicles are to the public.

Barry Sheerman, MP, Chair of the Westminster Commission for Road Air Quality, concluded the launch meeting by exclaiming how much he had learnt in this first meeting alone.

‘Although this Working Party already has a great range of expertise, we are still missing some people and skills. We must bring together sustainable fleet management companies, university figures, and other experts in the field to raise the voice for improving air quality.’

If you want to raise your voice on the issue of air monitoring, or any of our other five working parties, join the WCRAQ today and see what difference you can make.