Competition aims to speed up introduction of low carbon commercial vehicles

Competition to speed up introduction of low carbon commercial vehicles
The government is to run a £9.5million demonstration programme to encourage road haulage operators in the UK to buy and use low carbon commercial vehicles.

The trial programme, which will be managed by the Technology Strategy Board and the Department for Transport, will help operators establish and run fleets of alternative and dual fuel heavy goods vehicles, and electric and hybrid commercial vehicles, by part funding the difference in capital cost between the traditional vehicles and their low carbon equivalents.

The programme will also part fund the refuelling/charging point for use by the trial fleet.

"Cutting carbon emissions and supporting the low carbon vehicles market is a key priority for this government," said Transport Minister Mike Penning. "The trial will be crucial to enabling heavy goods vehicle operators to access the necessary refuelling infrastructure to support low carbon vehicles. This will improve confidence in low carbon technologies, encouraging more companies to get involved."

The competition is open to businesses of any size and the TSB says it is actively seeking to engage with small and medium sized enterprises as well as large operators. The demonstration trial fleets will be run for two years, during which time usage data will be gathered and analysed by the Department for Transport. The fleets and the refuelling/charging hubs will remain with the operators after the trial for their continued use.

The competition opens on 24 April and the deadline for registration is 13 June. Completed applications must then be submitted by 20 June. More information is available here.

Laura Hopperton

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