The Scottish government has published its plans for decarbonising the haulage industry, with the aim of transport firms having access to a wide range of zero emission trucks up to 44-tonnes by 2029.

Developed in partnership with the logistics and energy sectors, the HGV Decarbonisation Pathway sets out the four challenges posed by the transition to zero emission trucks: infrastructure, financial models, confidence in the technological and commercial change and workforce skills.

It said that over the next two years it intended to have a better understanding of the energy infrastructure required in Scotland and it expected the electricity market to change to reflect commercial demands.

Its aim within five years was for operators of all sizes to have confidence in the technical and financial options open to them and for a wide range of zero emission trucks up to 44-tonnes available, where the infrastructure and the demand are in place.

By the end of the decade, the government said there should be sufficient infrastructure across the country to support “wider transition”.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Fiona Hyslop said: “This partnership with road haulage, manufacturing, energy, government, union and commercial finance sectors is absolutely key to accelerating the transition towards zero emission trucks.

“Scotland’s economy – and society as a whole – rely on goods being moved with speed and efficiency, but these freight movements emit substantial greenhouse gases. We have worked collectively to understand and address the hurdles to transition.”

The RHA’s head of environment policy, Chris Ashley, said: “Decarbonising lorries whilst maintaining the high levels of service the public expect is complex with many structural barriers, such as financing the transition and providing the required energy infrastructure, to be addressed.

“The Pathway allows Scottish authorities and industry to start navigating the difficult issues that lie ahead and a focus to ensure that businesses, including our vital small businesses, feel supported.”

The BVRLA said it was encouraging to see Transport Scotland lead from the front: “Trucks keep the country moving,” said its CE Gerry Keaney.

“Finding greener alternatives to today’s vehicles is non-negotiable and we need to pick up the pace. We have seen exceptional progress in the car market, but trucks present a different scale of challenge. Without getting everybody around the table to find solutions that work, the transition to greener trucks will stop before it’s fully started.”

The UK government’s zero emission HGV infrastructure strategy has yet to be published.