Heavy lifting: A view on CV decarbonisation

Colin Ferguson, co-founder and CEO of The Algorithm People, looks at what fleet operators can do now to progress their journey to zero emission commercial vehicles.

Colin Ferguson-The Algorithm People-Blog-for web.png

We’re currently getting a lot of client enquiries seeking assistance on their decarbonisation journey. There remains a lot of confusion around the timings for introduction of zero emission vehicles, what the government timetable is and what fleet operators can do now. When faced with a myriad of potential solutions and a range of voices arguing for battery or hydrogen or fuel cell or HVO or LNG, or CNG (you get the picture) the anxiety and confusion in the market is perfectly understandable.

Fleet operators are in an unenviable position. It’s fair to say, pretty much all the technical implementations currently available to them for commercial vehicle acquisition (particularly heavies), infrastructure and operation are transient technologies. We’re fairly certain, by the proposed truck implementation dates of 2035 and 2040, the landscape will look a lot different and, hopefully, the choices will be clearer.

In the meantime, and this is the biggest problem as we see it, fleet users will be faced with a dramatic period of uncertainty and operational challenge. Those looking at their future buying patterns today will be driven by a consumer and corporate requirement to embrace the vehicles with zero or low carbon credentials, knowing they are investing in tech which won’t necessarily meet future requirements. While the industry has been through these challenges before, when dealing with the Euro emissions legislation, for instance, those changes didn’t involve a switch to a completely new energy source, infrastructure requirement and a rethink of operational duty cycles to meet new weight to battery discharge rates. These new variables, combined with managing the current ICE fleet, brings a new level of complexity to fleet operations during the switch over.

It’s our belief industry is going to need support to manage all these variables, particularly as we journey through the challenges of running a mixed fleet. Our algorithms have been designed to deal with the multiple inputs of fuel types, range and refuelling/recharging, as well as all the normal demands of a current operation to give fleet operators the peace of mind they are well placed to start their journey to net zero.


Colin is the co-founder and CEO of The Algorithm People, which provides a unique, evidenced-based approach to fleet electrification. He will be appearing as part of the 'Innovation Zone' breakout session at the upcoming Fleets in Charge Conference. Tickets are still available for the event in London on Thursday 7 July, with BVRLA members getting a discounted rate.


<-Back to Commercial Vehicle content


Colin Ferguson_The Algorithm People_b&w.jpg
Colin Ferguson

Co-founder and CEO , The Algorithm People

Colin has been a BVRLA blogger since May 2022.