red diesel

Temperature-controlled operators need to act now to avoid an overnight increase in fuel costs when the red diesel rebate is withdrawn, refrigerated systems manufacturer Hultsteins is warning.

In less than a year, new laws to clean up air will be introduced, which involves the removal by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) of the rebate for red diesel for most sectors.

Currently, red diesel attracts duty at 11.4p per litre and this will increase to the current white diesel level of 57.95p per litre in April 2022 - meaning fridge operators could be hit in the pocket by many thousands of pounds.

Hultsteins is recommending affected operators seize the initiative and fit an engine drive power take off (PTO) to all new trucks and tractors specified for refrigerated transport.

Graham Usher, Hultsteins’ head of sales for UK and Ireland, said: “This significant increase of 46.81p per litre will add many hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds extra cost, per year, per fridge, for all diesel fridge operators.

“However, operators can mitigate these cost increases and further decrease their current spend on diesel fuel, but to do so they must have an engine drive PTO.”

Usher said an engine-drive PTO gives hauliers the option to retrofit an electric generator: “This does not replace the existing diesel refrigeration system but, instead, works in tandem with the fridge unit and generates electricity at a constant 400V – even at idle speed.

“The generator transforms the diesel unit into a hybrid solution which will run any marque of diesel fridge on electric by utilising its built-in electric motor."