Up to £19 million will be available to reduce vehicle emissions in the freight industry, transport minister Andrew Jones announced yesterday (30 June).
Speaking at the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) annual conference, Mr Jones also announced the launch of a government-backed accreditation scheme.
The money for the emissions scheme will help fleets of commercial vehicles access the latest in innovative low and zero emission vehicle technologies.
Part of the funding, some £4 million, will also go towards new alternative fuel infrastructure such as electric vehicle charge points.
The funding will be available for applications from small local delivery firms as well large distribution heavy goods vehicle (HGV) fleets. The competition will open for bids in July.
The transport minister said: “We are always looking at new ways to make the vehicles on our roads cleaner, and this funding will support the freight industry to embrace the latest technology.
“The UK’s low emission vehicle industry is a huge success story and a source of strength in our economy. Today’s announcement is further proof that the government is leading the way as global demand for these vehicles grows.â€?
The scheme will be funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) through Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency.
Mr Jones also announced the introduction of a low carbon HGV technology accreditation scheme, which will provide fleet operators with an independent validation of how much fuel they could save by adopting the latest retrofit technologies onto their existing vehicles.
Acknowledging that operators need reassurance that products work before they invest, Mr Jones noted that rating the fuel saving potential of different technologies will help speed up their adoption by the industry.
Commenting on the strong position of the low carbon market despite the outcome of the recent referendum, Mr Jones said: “It’s been a great few years for ultra low emission vehicles. Whatever the political ups and downs, I have no doubt that this industry will move from strength to strength.
“We have to keep working together, keep innovating, keep cutting carbon—and you have the full support of the government in all you are doing to achieve those objectives,â€? he told the audience.â€?