Retrofit expense means few hauliers will opt for clean air zone kits, warns Eminox

The expense of retrofitting non-Euro-6 HGVs to meet clean air zone (CAZ) standards has prompted a leading manufacturer to rule out developing retrofit systems for all but specialist trucks.

Eminox offers approved retrofit systems for the bus and coach market and recently worked with waste operator Veolia (pictured) trialing the first retrofit exhaust after-treatment system for RCVs to be approved under the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS).

However, an Eminox spokeswoman said that after speaking to HGV operators it had concluded that the cost of retrofitting such a system to trucks, estimated to be approximately £15,000, would make it an uneconomic solution for most companies.

The spokeswoman said: “We have approved solutions for the bus and coach markets under the CVRAS scheme. However, there are no approved systems for HGVs.

“We are working to understand the requirements for the HGV market. We do not plan to develop systems for all HGVs, but will be working on a development programme for selected vehicles, based on market feedback.

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“The feedback we are receiving is that with costs around £15,000 some operators would not invest in tractor units, but the specialist vehicle, such as RCV and breakdown recovery vehicle [operators] would.”

Eminox is one of nine approved retrofit suppliers on the CVRAS list. As yet none of the systems on the approved list apply to HGVs.

The Energy Saving Trust (EST), which oversees CVRAS, on behalf of the DfT and Defra, acknowledges the lack of market appetite on its website.

It states that the HGV category “is particularly challenging in terms of retrofit technology due to the diverse range of vehicles, engines and duty cycles out there in a legacy fleet”.

It adds: “The determining factor regarding which retrofit system to develop and test is whether a market will materialise for the system.”

Earlier this year EST also raised concerns that even if approved retrofitters do develop a retrofit system for HGVs, these could face serious delays in getting approval, due to a lack of type-approval facilities in the UK with the appropriate test equipment required for CVRAS approval.

In September the government made £2.5m of funding available to support vital testing under the CVRAS to eliminate one of the barriers of getting the technology to the HGV market.

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