Heavy Vehicle Fuel Efficiency

Last updated: 4 July 2019
The ‘original’ Heavy Vehicle Fuel Efficiency (HVFE) programme was launched in September 2012 and was aimed at large fleets (those that use more than 1 million litres of fuel per annum). The heavy vehicle sector consumes about 20% of all transport energy – about 1 billion litres of diesel every year – and there was the potential for fleet operators to save up to 15% of their fuel use by making changes involving fuel efficient and safe driving. The aim of the programme was to improve the fuel efficiency of heavy vehicle fleets through expert advice and funding assistance. Under the programme EECA provided training for independent and in-company fuel advisors and trainers, provided grants for fleet audits, information about how to save fuel, and training on fuel efficient and safe driving. The programme came into being largely because, whilst the road transport industry understands that ‘saving fuel is good’, many transport operators did not monitor fuel usage on a regular basis, instead seeing fuel-use as an unavoidable cost of doing business. Regular monitoring of fuel use is the key to achieving sustainable reductions in fuel use and greenhouse gases. An expansion to the programme for small to medium-sized heavy vehicle fleets - one of the Carbon projects launched by the Government in April 2014 - was designed to help small-to-medium sized fleet operators improve their fuel efficiency in a way that was both cost effective and could be delivered to many fleets in a short time frame (see separate entry). A comprehensive review of the wider heavy fleet programme in early 2016 found strong evidence that the wider HVFE programme has led to sustained improvement in fuel efficiency in some fleets, lower maintenance costs and improvements in safety (fewer over-speeds), however the diffusion of these improvements throughout the heavy transport industry remained a challenge. The programme was reviewed in 2016; the result of was a cessation of the programme. The programme did not get the level of uptake desired for a variety of reasons including low fuel prices, driver shortages in the sector that impacted on driver training availability and constraints in getting timely and accurate fuel-use data.

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