The government has committed up to £2.5 million in funding to expand a scheme to test and accredit new retrofit technologies to reduce air pollution emissions from larger road vehicles.
Funding will support the testing of new technologies through the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS), which has been developed by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) and the Energy Saving Trust.
CVRAS provides a certification standard for emission-reduction technology for buses to meet requirements set out in the government’s Clean Air Zone Framework.
The scheme is intended to make it easier for councils to apply for funding for retrofit solutions to be used within their own fleets.
The latest round of funding will allow the scheme to be expanded to include retrofit technologies for vans, buses and trucks – which are thought to contribute to more than 50% of nitrogen oxides emitted by road transport.
According to LowCVP, while a number of retrofit technologies have been brought forward in the bus sector, as well as for coaches and refuse collection vehicles, the new funds will make it possible to ‘develop and test a range of new solutions for operators needing cost-effective retrofit options for other large vehicles’.
LowCVP’s managing director, Andy Eastlake, said: “We need a multi-faceted approach to tackling air pollution. This initiative is an important step to help clean more of the current fleet, whilst we wait for the penetration of ULEVs to increase.
“Retrofit is a key element of the overall package and will enable innovative solutions to be brought forward which can make a real difference to air quality in the short and medium term.â€?
Energy Saving Trust’s programme manager for freight and clean vehicle retrofit, Colin Smith, added: “Tackling air pollution in our towns and cities will benefit everyone, including fleet operators. We can’t wait for normal fleet replacement cycles to improve fleet emissions – there is an issue with air quality now.
“One option for reducing emissions is to retrofit existing fleet vehicles. However, we need to ensure retrofit systems achieve the required emissions reduction and this means approval tests for which there is an associated cost.
“This fund will help remove this key barrier and get more retrofit systems approved across a wider range of vehicles, enabling more vehicles to be retrofitted, thereby reducing the transport emissions that cause air quality issues in our towns and cities.â€?
Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme