Vans will go electric and lorries will run on hydrogen dual-fuel under a £20 million government programme to cut emissions and improve air quality, the Transport Minister John Hayes has announced.
The funding is being given to 20 firms who set out plans for innovative ways to deploy low and zero emission vehicles.
Figures show the freight industry accounts for about 30% of the UK’s CO2 transport emissions and the money will help fleets get their new vehicles on the roads from mid-2017 onwards.
Mr Hayes said, "Each one of these successful projects will help cut vehicle emissions, improving air quality and reducing pollution in towns and cities. This is yet another important step towards this government’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions from transport to help tackle climate change. We are already making headway through our investment in low emission vehicles, greener public transport and walking and cycling, as well as grants for innovative advanced biofuels projects."
The funding is being delivered by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV
) and Innovate UK.
The aim of the competition was to demonstrate new technologies and to encourage the widespread introduction of low and zero emission vehicles to UK fleets.
Innovate UK’s Manufacturing and Materials Director Simon Edmonds added, "These 20 projects around the UK will spearhead the uptake of the next generation of innovative low emission freight and fleet vehicles. The impact will benefit the environment, particularly in our big cities. It builds on the results of previous low carbon projects with OLEV
, and the data collected from this new trial will be invaluable to future development and commercialisation of these vital technologies.
The Government says the programme will help the UK meet its CO2 reduction targets – and represents another step towards the government’s target for all new cars and vans to be zero emission by 2040.
There were over 40 applications for the scheme – and the winners include a scheme to increase battery range for electric vehicles.
A partnership led by ULEMco from Liverpool will receive £1.31 million to carry out trials using innovative hydrogen dual-fuel technology, and UPS will get £1.33 million to invest in smart charging of its electric vans which run in central London.
Air Liquide Group receives the largest amount of funding - £2.57 million – for its project trialling biogas in 86 lorries ranging from 26 tonnes to 44 tonnes. In addition, 5 refrigeration units will use a prototype liquid nitrogen system.
From September, new types of diesel cars on UK roads will have to meet more stringent Euro 6 emissions limits, and these limits will tighten further in early 2020.