The UK government has announced a £20m funding boost to accelerate the roll-out of zero-emission road freight. A recent press release explains that the funding is intended to encourage fleet operators to convert to battery-electric vehicles, in the fight to reduce Co2 emissions and help to prevent climate change.
The funding will come from the Department of Transport and be delivered by Innovate UK. As well as supporting net-zero targets, the funding is intended to support the industry and create new jobs. So far, a successful project has been carried out by Leyland Trucks to trial and demonstrate 20 battery-electric DAF trucks.
Rob Lawton, Project Manager, at Leyland Trucks, said: “We’re delighted to have been selected to play such a key role in the initiative and we’re proud to be leading the drive towards a cleaner, more sustainable future for the road transport industry.”
“We believe our LF Electric and CF Electric vehicles offer the best solution for zero-emissions operation and we’re confident that the results from our NHS and local authority partners will support our own extensive and long-term testing programmes,” he added.
Other projects include an electric road feasibility study in Yorkshire, which was led by Costain Ltd. The ‘Electric Road System’ is being considered for a 20km stretch of road near Scunthorpe to trial a pioneering overhead charging system. Battery-electric trucks will charge dynamically via electricity from overhead catenaries.
A hydrogen fuel cell feasibility study led by Arcola Energy Ltd will investigate the possibility of hydrogen fuel cell trucks, and new refuelling infrastructure in Scotland. There are four other projects in the pipeline which aim to demonstrate zero emission freight technologies at scale on UK roads.
Leyland Trucks will deploy 20 DAF battery-electric trucks for use by public sector organisations, in order to gather data from real-world usage in a logistics capacity. The government is currently consulting on a phase-out date for new non-zero emission HGVs.
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