Transport Minister John Hayes has announced the recipients of a £20 million grant programme to cut emissions in the freight industry – including a hydrogen fuel trial and electric vehicle charging points.
The funding, announced at the Sustainable Road Transport Conference in London today (11 January), is being given to 20 firms who set out plans for innovative ways to deploy low and zero emission vehicles.
According to the Department for Transport, the freight industry accounts for about 30% of the UK’s CO2 transport emissions. The money will help fleets roll out new vehicles from mid-2017 onwards.
Transport Minister John 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.â€?
The funding is being delivered by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and Innovate UK, the government’s innovation agency. The aim of the competition is to demonstrate new technologies and encourage the widespread introduction of low and zero emission vehicles to UK fleets.
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 £1.31m to carry out trials using innovative hydrogen dual-fuel technology, and UPS will get £1.33m to invest in smart charging of its electric vans which run in central London.
ENN Clean Energy UK Limited receives the largest amount of funding – £2.57m – for its project trialling biogas in 86 lorries ranging from 26 tonnes to 44 tonnes. In addition, five refrigeration units will use a prototype liquid nitrogen system.
Innovate UK’s Manufacturing and Materials director Simon Edmonds said: “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.â€?
The programme is aimed at helping the UK meet its CO2 reduction targets and represents a step towards the government’s target for all new cars and vans to be zero emission by 2040.