UK Government to Fund Zero-Emission Road Freight Programme

Transport Minister Trudy Harrison has announced that over 200 million GBP in UK government funding will be invested in a zero-emission road freight trial programme.

Throughout the programme, the world’s largest fleet of zero-emission HGVs will operate on UK roads to provide transport for consumer goods that is zero-emission at the tailpipe.

The funding for the trials was revealed at Logistics UK’s Future Logistics Conference in Farnborough on 12 May 2022. The 3-year comparative programme will begin later this year to help decarbonise the UK’s freight industry.

UK Government to Fund Zero-Emission Road Freight Programme
The funding aims to reduce carbon emissions from road freight to improve air quality and make UK towns and cities healthier places to live

The programme could lead to hundreds more zero-emission HGVs entering service to make the UK freight industry more profitable, as the overall running costs of zero-emission vehicles are cheaper than petrol and diesel alternatives. More efficient deliveries could enable logistics companies to keep the price of goods down should they pass on any savings to the consumer.

In addition, the zero-emission trucks will help improve air quality locally, create greener jobs and deliver on the government’s COP26 pledges, while also reducing reliance on importing foreign oil.

Transport Minister Trudy Harrison said:

“Our road freight industry is one of the most efficient in the world and contributes over £13 billion to the UK economy each year. But we must accelerate our journey towards our net zero goals, and we’re committed to leading the way globally on non-zero emission road vehicles. Our ambitious plans will continue to ensure food is stocked on the shelves and goods are supplied while eliminating fossil fuels from HGVs and making our freight sector green for good.”

The trials will evaluate the future refuelling and recharging infrastructure needed to smoothly transition to an electric freight industry by 2050 and determine which zero emission at the tailpipe technologies are best suited to the UK’s heavy road vehicles.

An open-call competition will soon 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.

Michelle Gardner, Acting Deputy Director – Public Policy, Logistics UK, said:

“Logistics businesses are committed to decarbonising their operations, but to ensure a smooth transition they need clarity on the path to zero tailpipe emission HGVs. The trials announced today will play a crucial role in identifying the right technological solutions to help enable this.”

This latest announcement comes after the Department for Transport’s 20 million GBP zero-emission road freight trials which were delivered by Innovate UK last year.

In addition, the UK government has published plans to realise its COP26 pledge that all new HGVs sold in the UK will be zero-emission at the tailpipe from 2040.

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