Truck operators are being invited to bid for government funding to take part in a trial to cut emissions from UK freight and haulage vehicles.
Transport minister Mike Penning unveiled the initiative yesterday (April 24) and said government would be investing £9.5m in the initiative.
It is hoped the trial will deliver fleets of low-emission heavy goods vehicles as well as supporting infrastructure such as fuelling stations and electric recharging hubs.
Transport minister Mike Penning said: “This competition will help drive down emissions from trucks. Almost a quarter of carbon from transport in this country comes from heavy goods vehicles, so this is a key area for us to tackle.
“These trials will show us how low-carbon technologies perform day-to-day in the real world, providing vital data to build operator confidence in these green trucks and allowing us to make policy choices based on hard evidence.
“The investment in gas refuelling infrastructure will also give haulage firms a push to buy gas-powered HGVs – leaving a legacy that will support low-carbon transport well into the future.”
Companies looking to take part in the ‘Low carbon truck demonstration trial’ have until June 20 to bid for funding of up to £750,000 each. The trials will run for two years and data collected over this period will be used to inform government policy on low-carbon road freight.
To qualify, vehicles must deliver carbon savings of at least 15% compared with the equivalent conventional vehicle. A variety of technologies are eligible for funding under the rules of the competition including gas-powered, dual fuel or hybrid trucks of over 7.5 tonnes and electric vehicles over 3.5 tonnes.
Gas refuelling infrastructure funded by the competition will be made accessible to other commercial and public-service vehicle operators, helping to build a network around the country.
Funding for the trial will come jointly from the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Technology Strategy Board, a public body set up by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) to promote innovation in industry.