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IRHA calls for improved fuel rebate scheme

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The Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA) is calling on the government to improve the current fuel rebate scheme and and incentivise the upgrade to Euro VI Diesel.

The Climate Action Plan 2019 as published last week by Minister Richard Bruton sets goals and lists appropriate actions for the coming years.

Verona Murphy, President of the IRHA said: “The government have made it clear that the purpose behind the possible introduction of carbon tax and diesel price equalisation is to nudge people and

business towards electric vehicles and other alternatives to diesel. There is no readily available alternative to diesel for the haulage industry and there wont be for decades to come. That said, there is a solution to this challenge that is readily available and that is Euro VI Diesel – the most cost effective, carbon and energy efficient vehicle for use in heavy goods transport. Euro VI trucks are regarded as ultra-low emissions vehicles.”

She added:“This is why Diesel remains the long-term fuel type for most of the European

truck manufacturers. They have made it clear to us that they are confident diesel will continue to meet new targets being set for the future and for decades to come until electric eventually becomes a viable option.”

She continued: “However, for hauliers to have the confidence to invest in upgrading their fleet,

the Government needs to send a message that diesel prices wi ll be stabilised for essential users such as coach and haulage operators through an effective and improved fuel rebate scheme.”

“I welcome the inclusion in the plan to support the use of the Accelerated Capital Allowance (ACA) regime to promote business investment in energy efficient equipment but his needs to include energy efficient vehicles like Euro VI. Gas powered trucks can only play a minor role in this solution as they are not readily available in the scale that is required, and the infrastructure does not exist in Ireland or on the continent to support gas trucks in great numbers.”

“If the price of diesel increases for hauliers because of the unthinking, misinformed narrative that all diesel vehicles are bad, the result will be that older, less efficient trucks will be brought in from the UK and elsewhere. This trend is already evident.It’s very simple – the dearer the diesel, the older the national fleet.”

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