£20 million fund announced for zero emission HGVs

Funding to boost the UK’s transition to zero emission road freight, supporting industry and creating jobs has been announced today (July 27).

Pioneering £20 million zero emission road freight trials, funded by the Department for Transport and delivered by Innovate UK, will help to develop innovative solutions to support the uptake of zero emission trucks.

Using learning from field testing battery-electric vehicles in a real-world environment, and from undertaking feasibility studies, these activities will help to design and develop cost-effective, zero emission heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and their refuelling infrastructure right here in the UK.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

Through our bold and ambitious transport decarbonisation plan, we’re leading the way in the transition to zero emission vehicles by becoming the first country in the world to commit to ending the sale of all new fossil-fuelled road vehicles by 2040, subject to consultation.

“From Doncaster to Scotland, by working in partnership with industry, this funding will allow us to better understand the role of zero emission HGVs while levelling up the industry and boosting regional economies.”

Future trials

Successful projects include an ‘Electric Road System’ feasibility study, led by Costain Ltd., considering a 20km stretch of road near Scunthorpe for a possible trial of electric road systems.

Electric Road Systems supply battery-electric trucks with electricity from overhead catenaries via a pantograph enabling HGVs to charge dynamically.

Commercial vehicle manufacturing company Leyland Trucks will be deploying 20 DAF battery-electric trucks for use by public sector organisations 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.

The investment in an interactive tool will de-risk, aid and encourage fleet operators to convert to battery-electric vehicles.

The government said that this is an important step in the transition to zero emission road freight.