Vans will go electric and lorries will run on hydrogen dual-fuel under a £20 million government programme to cut emissions and improve air quality.
The funding is being given to 20 firms who have 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. The funding is being delivered by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles and Innovate UK.
Innovate UK’s Manufacturing & Materials Director Simon Edmonds commented: “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.
There were over 40 applications for the scheme – and the winners include a partnership led by ULEMco from Liverpool which will receive £1.31 million to carry out trials using innovative hydrogen dual-fuel technology. UPS will get £1.33 million to invest in smart charging of its electric vans which run in central London. Air Liquide Group receives the largest amount of funding – £2.57 million – for its project trialling biogas in 86 lorries ranging from 26 tonnes to 44 tonnes. In addition, five refrigeration units will use a prototype liquid nitrogen system.
The programme will help the UK meet its CO2 reduction targets – and represents another step towards the government’s target for all new cars and vans to be zero emission by 2040.