Low carbon vehicle scheme receives Government boost

A £23m demonstration programme to encourage UK transport operators to buy and use low carbon commercial vehicles is set to receive over £11m in Government support.

The Government funding will help operators establish and run fleets of alternative and dual-fuel heavy-goods vehicles by meeting part of the difference in capital cost between traditional vehicles and their low carbon equivalents.

Thirteen major companies, including Tesco, the John Lewis partnership, Robert Wiseman Dairies and the BOC Group are leading trials in the programme, while more than 300 low-carbon commercial vehicles will be involved.

Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, who are managing the programme, said: “This trial will enable commercial vehicle operators to showcase alternative-fuel commercial vehicles. It will help to accelerate a wider understanding and acceptance of low carbon vehicle technologies, while enabling the development of alternative fuel infrastructures.”

The funding will also help meet the cost of the refuelling points for use by the trial fleets, including the provision of eleven new public access refuelling stations around the country, which will be available for use by other operators.

Freight Minister Mike Penning said: “These trials will reduce CO2 emissions from freight and provide important information from a range of real-life situations that will increase industry confidence in low carbon trucks in the long term.

“For example, operators often cite lack of gas refuelling infrastructure as a barrier to the take up of alternatives to diesel. These trials include £2.4m funding for publicly accessible gas stations which will encourage investment in low carbon trucks, and other vehicles, delivering long term benefits for the environment and reduced costs for operators.”

Leigh Stringer

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