The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) has welcomed an announcement that up to £2.5m of government funding is being made available to increase the range of vehicle retrofit technologies capable of cutting emissions from larger road vehicles already in use, and enable them to meet clean air zone and ultra low emission vehicle (ULEV) requirements.

The funding will support testing of new technologies for the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS), which has been developed by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership and is administered by Energy Saving Trust.

LowCVP 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, while 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.”

Energy Saving Trust’s programme manager for freight and clean vehicle retrofit, Colin Smith, said: “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.”