Zero emission road freight demonstrator programme announced
Transport Minister Trudy Harrison has revealed over £200 million of government funding will be injected into an extensive zero emission road freight demonstrator programme, at Logistics UK’s Future Logistics Conference.
The three-year comparative programme will begin later this year to help decarbonise the UK’s freight industry with initial competitions for battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell technology launching shortly.
This could see hundreds more zero-emission HGVs rolled out across the nation and save the industry money, thanks to overall running costs of green vehicles being cheaper than petrol and diesel equivalents. More efficient deliveries will in turn enable haulage companies to keep the price of goods down and protect customers from rising costs.
The demonstrations will help gather evidence on the future refuelling and recharging infrastructure needed to drive the smooth transition to a zero-emission freight sector by 2050.
An open-call competition will be launched for manufacturers, energy providers and fleet and infrastructure operators to showcase their green technology on UK roads. This will begin with demonstrations of battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell HGVs.
The announcement expands the Department for Transport’s (DfT) successful £20 million zero emission road freight trials which ran last year, delivered by Innovate UK.
As part of these trials, commercial vehicle manufacturer Leyland Trucks rolled out 20 DAF battery electric HGVs for use by public sector organisations, including the NHS and local authorities, to support the uptake of battery electric trucks, enabling learning to be gathered from field testing vehicles in a real-world, real-time logistics environment.
This project, along with six successful feasibility studies, helped prepare for the demonstrations, which will take place at scale over the coming years.