Photo credits @ West Midlands Police/ Flickr

Transport industry welcomes government’s £200m zero emissions HGV trial

Over £200 million will be invested into a zero emission road freight demonstrator programme, announced British Transport Minister Trudy Harrison on Thursday. The government’s plan is to launch the world’s largest fleet of zero emission heavy goods vehicles. If everything goes according to the plan, all new HGVs sold in the UK will be zero emission by 2040.

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Transport Minister Trudy Harrison revealed over £200 million of government funding will be injected into a zero emission road freight demonstrator programme, at Logistics UK’s Future Logistics Conference on Thrusday, 12 May 2022.

The 3-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.

The government hopes to see “hundreds more zero-emission HGVs rolled out across the nation”. And so, more efficient deliveries will 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) £20 million zero-emission road freight trials which ran last year, delivered by Innovate UK.

The DfT has also published the full response to a public consultation on phase out dates for the sale of new, non-zero emission HGVs.

It will now also consult with the industry to identify potential exemptions to the 2035 phase out date for HGVs, weighing 26 tonnes and under, which may need longer to transition to zero-emission technologies.

Transport industry welcomes the funding

The Road Haulage Association welcomes the funding, as Policy Lead Chris Ashley phrased, “this will assist operators as they plan their fleet replacement programmes into the future”.

“However, resilience-planning should also be factored in to Government plans, so that all parts of society and the economy can be serviced at all times,” he added.

Not-for-profit, independent partnership Zemo, whose aim is to accelerate the move to zero emission mobility in the UK also greeted the announcement.

“It’s important to note that the demonstration programme competition will be open to collaborations between vehicle suppliers, operators as well as infrastructure and energy supply companies; decarbonising transport is going to require an ever more collaborative approach involving actors across a wider range of sectors than ever before,” said Andy Eastlake, Zemo Partnership’s Chief Executive.