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Monday, 12 March 2012

Demo to speed-up introduction of low carbon commercial vehicles

March 12, 2012

The government is to run a £9.5 million 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 in partnership with the UK Department for Transport – will help operators establish and run fleets of alternative & dual-fuel heavy-goods vehicles, and electric & 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.

Transport Minister Mike Penning said:

“Cutting carbon emissions and supporting the low carbon vehicles market is a key priority for this government.

“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.

“Ultimately companies will save money. It will also speed up the introductions of low carbon commercial vehicles, encouraging growth and helping to meet the EU’s climate change targets.”

The competition is open to businesses of any size and the Technology Strategy Board 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.

Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said:

“We have developed this demonstration trial in consultation with the road haulage industry,vehicle manufacturers and alternative transport & fuel industries. It will enable commercial vehicle operators to trial alternative-fuel, electric, and hybrid commercial vehicles as lower carbon replacements for their traditional vehicles while low-carbon vehicle producers will learn from the trial to develop their products.”

Paul Everitt, Chief Executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, added:

“The UK is at the forefront of research, testing and uptake of low and ultra-low carbon technologies for all sizes and types of commercial vehicles – many technologies are already available, so the Technology Strategy Board programme will provide a welcome opportunity to showcase their capabilities to a wider audience. The funding will accelerate industry’s understanding and use of a variety of low carbon technologies while helping to develop alternative fuel infrastructures across the country.”

The competition will support small trial fleets (between five and thirty-five vehicles) of production, and near-production, low carbon commercial vehicles and their refuelling/charging infrastructure. A specific aim and requirement of the funding is that access must be granted for other commercial & public-service vehicle operators to the trial’s gas refuelling hubs.

Each project application must demonstrate the expected benefits that funding would bring through the expected level of carbon reduction, the introduction and use of more low carbon commercial vehicles and refuelling hubs, the substitution of traditional fossil-fuels and support of UK plc manufacturing and operation.

The competition opens on 24 April 2012 and the deadline for registration is 13 June 2012. Completed applications must then be submitted by 20 June 2012. A briefing event will be held on 9 May 2012 to highlight the main features of the competition and explain the application process.

Further information about the competition is available at: LCTDT competition

Source: Technology Strategy Board (TSB)

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