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Alternative Fuels Working Group



FTA Ireland have been doing a lot of work in the space of environmental management within commercial fleet operators over the last 10 years. The FTA Ireland TruckSafe™ and VanSafe™ standards focus on how commercial fleet operators are managing their fuel burn. It audits operational compliance in the areas of road safety, haulage operations, roadworthiness, working time and environmental efficiencies. As an operational compliance audit both TruckSafe™ and VanSafe™ are encouraging members to have sustainable and pro-active management systems in place. This has the added benefit for members by helping them reduce their carbon emission, reduce costs associated with fuel purchasing and aid their transition to alternative fuelling technologies whilst staying safe on the road. Members are required to submit a 3-year fuel efficiency and management plan as part of the annual audit. Litres used, and Kilometres driven are collected from members to the scheme each quarter. FTA Ireland members have saved over 2.5million litres of diesel fuel. This is the equivalent of over 7million Kg of CO2e .

Alternative Fuel Working Group

The FTA Ireland Alternative Fuels Working Group has been established for 3 years. The FTA Ireland TruckSafe Standard has incorporated fuel efficiencies and environmental standards as part of our member annual compliance audit. The standard is supporting members by recognising the highest standards of operational compliance, safety and professionalism. The Alternative Fuels working group expands upon the objectives by the association to support our members through expert advice and guidance that supports strategic planning and decision making those deliveries efficiencies and promotes competitiveness. The working group has over the years also supported the FTAI policy position on alternative technologies and aided our engagement with key stakeholders to understand  the issues for the logistics sector in transitioning to alternative fuels but most importantly to develop collaborative relationships that endeavour to deliver clear roadmaps to net zero that takes account of the complexities of transition whilst supporting the sustainability of businesses within the freight distribution and logistics sector. To participate in this working group please email or phone 018447516.

CNG / LNG / Electric /Hydrogen

Support and incentives must be provided to industry for adoption of alternative fuel technologies and there should be tax breaks for CNG/LNG/Hydrogen and Electric vehicle adaption. The recently published Alternative Fuels Infrastructure for Transport in Ireland 2017 -2030 details Ireland’s commitment to transitioning to a low carbon economy by 2050. Transport accounts for 20% of Ireland’s emissions with 25% of this amount apportioned to the freight industry. (4% is accountable to public transport). It is incumbent on Government to not just lead the way in this transition but to encourage and incentivise the private sector to adapt to new technologies that will have dramatic effect on emissions data for the country. According to the Alternative Fuels Report (Pg 50) it is expected that there will be 19 refuelling sites for CNG in operation by 2020 (as at October 2020 there is 2 open). It is essential to build industry trust that new alternative fuels are sustainable and viable options for industry. This includes, ease of access to refuelling network, refuelling sites strategically located in heavily used commercial routes etc. Burning natural gas as compared to diesel results in an approximate 22% climate benefit at combustion due to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. Industry will adapt to new technologies if there is business need, it is viable and can deliver to suit the company’s needs.



[2] CNG is largely methane or CH4 i.e. there are 4 hydrogen atoms for each carbon atom. In contrast diesel is a complex mix of hydrocarbons, its constituents vary from C10H20 to C15H28 but broadly 3 hydrogen atoms to each carbon atom. This fundamental property is what makes CNG and LNG cleaner and more carbon efficient than diesel. The gaps in combustion efficiency compared to diesel are rapidly being closed with new High Pressure Direct Injection technology (HPDI).

Action required to support transition to alternative fuelling technologies

FTA Ireland make the following suggestions in terms of supporting adaption of real change that can support sustainable operations for the logistics sector and in particular those operating commercial fleets.

Support effective roll out of Alternative technologies such as CNG/LNG: FTA

FTA Ireland recommends that there should be more focus on increasing the roll-out of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) & Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) refuelling sites

Develop the CNG fuelling network to support the uptake of CNG vehicles

FTA Ireland recommends that there should be more focus on increasing the roll-out of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) & Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) refuelling sites

A continuation grant

must be provided to aid early adopters to transition from diesel to more environmentally friendly alternatives in a more focused and organised manner. Currently the price differential between diesel and the CNG equivalent HGV is in excess of €35,000. The grant should be such to incentivise fleet managers to purchase CNG/LNG trucks when renewing their fleets.

Fuel Efficiencies

In CSO survey 2014 Heavy Goods vehicles travelled over 1.7billion KM in Ireland, in 2016 road freight consumed 713ktoe or 844 million Litres of diesel (8% of which was biofuel). If each truck saved 5% of fuel through fuel efficiency programmes this would result in the equivalent of over 113 million KG of CO2e savings[1] – or roughly 10% of the 1 million tonne per annum deficit reporting by the CCAC[2] 17th July 2018.

[1] 713ktoe is 2,265,000 t CO2e x 5% = 113,250t or 113,250,000kg

[2] The Climate Change Advisory Council is an independent advisory body tasked with assessing and advising on how Ireland can achieve the transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient and environmentally sustainable economy. It was established on 18 January 2016 under the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015.

  • Recognise existing initiatives such as TruckSafe™ as viable important initiatives that encourage awareness and adaption of environmentally friendly management practices.
  • Reward operators that can demonstrate a fuel efficiency management plan through the likes of FTA Ireland ‘Green TruckSafe’ programme’ by excluding them from future increases in fuel tax duty and carbon tax (or at least the equalisation of same).
  • Fuel Rebate: Increase the cap on rebate scheme from 7.5c per litre to 25c per litre in line with other EU member States such as Belgium. It is very important that the coach and bus and haulage sector is supported. Fuel accounts for over 30% of operation costs. Increase in diesel cost because of an increase in carbon tax has a negative impact on this sector.


‘B’ Driver Licence category of licence increased to allow driving of vehicles up to 4.5tonne vans under derogation. Due to the weight of batteries there is an obvious reduced payload capacity in vans. This needs to be compensated by enabling ‘B’ licenced van drivers to continue to deliver the volumes that they can normally do in diesel engine vehicles.

Develop the EV charging network to support the growth of EVs

Support and invest in effective infrastructure that is future proof and where charging points allow for larger vehicles where possible. At service areas there is often adequate parking space behind the chargers for HGVs, but small obstacles such as cable length prevent large vehicles accessing the chargers e.g. at night when cars will not be using them.

Consider a Van-scrappage scheme to promote the purchase of alternative technology vehicles

Set a road map for more LEVs in public sector fleets – Local Authorities must lead the way in transitioning their Light Commercial Vehicles to electric. At the moment the cost and supply of vehicles is prohibitive. If a scheme was developed it would make the purchase of these vehicles a more viable proposition.

BUS and Coach Sector

Most businesses are not VAT registered; therefore, they cannot avail of VAT refunds schemes for diesel expenditure. All commercial fleet operators should be able to avail of the ability to reclaim this tax even though their business model does not currently allow it. Coach and Bus operators that can demonstrate a fuel management programme, eco-driver training programme and or are participating in auditing practices that track their fuel burn with kilometres driven should benefit from reduced tax.

Toll Free

Consideration should be given to allow vehicles that are run on CNG / LNG / Electric to travel Toll Free on the motorway network. This will prove to be an added benefit for fleet operators and incentivise a transition to cleaner fuels.

Training & Education

Focus resources on building transport industry skills and infrastructure for long term alternative fuels such as renewable Hydrogen, electric buses, goods vehicles and plant.




Address :  Freight Transport Association Ireland,
DHL Building, Airport Business Park,
Cloghran, Co. Dublin K67A0F4

Phone : +353 1 844 7516

Email :

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