UK Truck Trials to Test Low Carbon Technologies

LONDON, UK, April 27, 2012 (ENS) – Low carbon demonstration trials for heavy goods vehicles will be funded by the British government for two years. The trials are expected to deliver fleets of low-emission trucks and supporting infrastructure such as natural gas fueling stations and electric recharging hubs.

Transport Minister Mike Penning said Tuesday that the trials will be supported with £9.5 million (US$15.4 million) invested by the Department for Transport and the Technology Strategy Board.

“This competition will help drive down emissions from trucks,” said Penning. “Almost a quarter of carbon from transport in this country comes from heavy goods vehicles, so this is a key area for us to tackle.”

Heavy goods truck in England (Photo by Ian Britton courtesy FreeFoto.com)

To identify the innovation platform’s priorities the Technology Strategy Board reviewed published roadmaps and held stakeholder consultations. These priorities continue to be guided by an industry-led steering group.

Truck operators are now being invited to bid for a slice of the funding as part of a competition that opened on April 24.

The two-year trial will support the capital costs of trialing low carbon commercial vehicles by business and to help kick-start the building of a national gas refueling infrastructure for commercial vehicles.

“These trials will show us how low carbon technologies perform day-to-day in the real world, providing vital data to build operator confidence in these green trucks and allowing us to make policy choices based on hard evidence,” said Penning.

A variety of technologies are eligible for funding under the rules of the competition, including gas powered, dual fuel or hybrid trucks of over 7.5 tonnes and electric vehicles over 3.5 tonnes.

Trucks on a parking lot in England (Photo by Ian Britton courtesy FreeFoto.com)

“The investment in gas refueling infrastructure will also give haulage firms a push to buy gas powered heavy goods vehicles,” he said, “leaving a legacy that will support low carbon transport well into the future.”

Companies wishing to take advantage of the funding have until June 20 to bid for up to 750,000 pounds (917,000 euros) each.

Trials will run for two years and data collected over this period will be used to inform government policy on low carbon road freight, Penning explained.

To qualify for the competition, vehicles must deliver carbon savings of at least 15 percent compared with the equivalent conventional vehicle.

Gas refueling infrastructure funded by the competition will be made accessible to other commercial and public service vehicle operators, helping to build a network around the country.

The competition does not cover refuse collection, utility, off-road, agricultural vehicles or public service vehicles such as buses, though these vehicles may use refueling facilities provided through competition funding.

Click here for competition details and application.

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