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From electric vehicles to underground pods, this is the future of freight transport. With advances in driving technology and ever-stricter laws about carbon emissions; as well as a move towards more and more fuel efficient vehicles, the HGV of the future might not look or perform anything like the HGV of today.

Let’s look at a few things that might drastically change in a few years when it comes to HGVs.

Electric HGVs

With fossil fuels on the way out there’s a real drive to find alternative forms of energy, particularly when it comes to motor vehicles. We’re seeing a rise in electric powered vehicles at the moment, albeit mostly smaller ones like scooters, bikes and small cars. Could it be that we might one day see electric HGVs?

Well, actually, it’s already happening. Last year, BMW launched Europe’s first 40-tonne electric truck. Initially used to take parts between BMW’s locations in Germany, it can run for 62 miles on a full battery charge and can be fully recharged in 3 hours. Even more exciting, Highways England have already produced a report about the possibility of ‘charge as you drive’ technology, which would mean that HGVs and other vehicles wouldn’t need to stop and charge up, but could do so on the move. According to a feasibility study carried out by Transport Research Laboratory, this would be done by installing underground charging infrastructure under major highways, enabling something called ‘dynamic wireless power transfer’ to charge electric vehicles as they go.

 Removing the need to have HGVs sitting for hours at a time recharging would take away one of the big problems with using electric vehicles.

Tram HGVS

 Siemens have developed a vehicle that’s part HGV and part tram, with electric cables running overhead. It has a lower environmental impact than an HGV, but still looks just like one (other than the cable tracks overhead). The system is already up and running in Sweden and California as of the beginning of 2016.

More Female Drivers

 Not a technological breakthrough, but a development that will shape the future of HGV driving, is the fact that more and more women are becoming interested in the industry. Recent research by the FTA found that 79% of women surveyed said they’d be interested in driving an HGV for a living, so we hope to see a trend of women driving HGVs in the future.

Going Underground

In a truly outlandish proposal, seeing HGVs swapped out for underground delivery capsules could be the distant future of all freight, if Mole Solutions have their way. The UK-based company proposes creating an underground network of pipelines with electric capsules delivering goods from one place to another.

 It’s an interesting idea, but it’s very unlikely to happen anytime soon. So, it’s safe to say that it looks like HGVs are here to stay for the foreseeable future, but the type of HGV you get to drive might become a little more sophisticated. Invest in your future career by enrolling on one of our CPC courses, and learn to drive not only HGVs but also ambulances, forklifts, trailers and lots of other working vehicles.

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