Transport minister Andrew Jones has announced £19m funding to help freight industry cut vehicle emissions and unveiled an accreditation scheme.

The money will help fleets of commercial vehicles access the latest in innovative low and zero emission vehicle technologies.

The funding will be available for applications from small local delivery firms as well large distribution HGV fleets. Part of the funding will also go towards new alternative fuel infrastructure such as electric vehicle chargepoints. The competition will open for bids this month.

Jones 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.

The scheme will be funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) through Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency.

Speaking at the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership annual conference, Jones also announced a low carbon HGV technology accreditation scheme, which will provide fleet operators with independent validation of how much fuel they could save by adopting the latest retrofit technologies onto their existing vehicles.

It is expected that rating the fuel saving potential of different technologies will help speed up their adoption by the industry.