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Talking About the ‘Messy Middle’

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The fact that zero emission technologies are all new, in development and likely to need serious investment to get up and running and mature for our market, means over the next few years we will be talking about the ‘messy middle’ of uncertainty on zero carbon and a long period before the picture clears and the road to low emissions becomes much clearer.

However, during this period the pressure from large corporate customers and other transport clients is going to be building on their road transport suppliers to move towards carbon zero. They will be reducing their carbon footprint and expecting all of their suppliers to do so as well.

At this point supplying low carbon road transportation becomes a selling point and a way to compete in the market. This will be happening at a point where the electric and hydrogen solutions cannot fulfil demand and the infrastructure to support them is not up and running.

This is where the messy bit comes in. There are a number of halfway houses on the road to zero carbon, which can be used. Trucking operators may be able to offer interim solutions, to reduce carbon emissions during this period while the truly zero carbon solutions are developing and maturing.

One has been on the Australian market for some time and that is the diesel hybrid drive train which has been shown to reduce fuel use, and therefore carbon emissions by up to 20 per cent in many urban delivery tasks.

Solutions which may come to the fore in this period are fuels like biodiesel and other renewable fuels, which can reduce effective carbon emissions by up to 80 per cent in a conventional diesel engine, or natural gas, either as LNG or CNG which emits up to 20 per cent less carbon dioxide than diesel.

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