Vans will go electric and lorries will run on hydrogen dual-fuel under a £20m government programme to cut emissions and improve air quality, transport minister John Hayes has announced.
The funding, announced at the Sustainable Road Transport Conference, in central London, is being given to 20 firms who set out plans for innovative ways to deploy low and zero emission vehicles.
The freight industry accounts for about 30% of the UK’s CO2 transport emissions and the money will help fleets get their new vehicles on the roads from mid-2017 onwards.
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.
The funding is being delivered by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and Innovate UK.
The aim of the competition is to demonstrate new technologies and to encourage the widespread introduction of low and zero emission vehicles to UK fleets.
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.”