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Funding announced to accelerate rollout of zero-emission road freight

The Department for Transport has announced a £20m investment to speed up the transition to zero-emission road freight, following the government’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan.

grayscale photo of cars on roadRoad freight trials, delivered by Innovate UK, will help to develop solutions to support the uptake of zero-emission trucks.

Successful projects include the trial and demonstration of 20 battery electric DAF trucks by Leyland Trucks, and electric road system feasibility study in Yorkshire, and a green hydrogen truck feasibility study in Scotland.

The government hopes these pilots will help design and develop cost-effective, zero-emission heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and their refuelling infrastructure in the UK.

Transport secretary, Grant Shapps, said: ‘Through our bold and ambitious Transport Decarbonisation Plan, we’re leading the way in the transition to zero emission vehicles by becoming the first country in the world to commit to ending the sale of all new fossil-fuelled road vehicles by 2040.  

‘From Doncaster to Scotland, by working in partnership with industry this funding will allow us to better understand the role of zero-emission HGVs, whilst levelling up the industry and boosting regional economies.’

The electric road system feasibility study in Yorkshire, led to Costain Ltd, will consider a 20km stretch of road near Scunthorpe for a possible trail of electric road systems, where electric trucks are supplied with electricity from overhead catenaries via a pantograph, enabling HGVs to charge dynamically.  

The hydrogen fuel cell feasibility study in Scotland, led by Arcola Energy Ltd, will design a possible future trial of hydrogen fuel cell trucks and new refuelling infrastructure.

Commercial vehicle manufacturers, Leyland Trucks, will be deploying 20 DAF battery electric trucks for use by public sector organisations to support uptake of battery electric trucks, enabling learning to be gathered from field testing vehicles in a real-time logistics environment.

A consultation on a phase out date for new non-zero emission HGVs has also been announced in the Transport Decarbonisation Plan.

In related news, decarbonising road transport by 2050 is possible but new policies will be crucial, say stakeholders.

Photo by Wolfgang Hasselmann

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