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£20 million funding boost for road freight - Perthshire Chamber of Commerce

£20 million funding boost for road freight

Funding to boost the UK’s transition to zero emission road freight, supporting industry and creating jobs has been announced by the UK Government.

Pioneering £20 million zero emission road freight trials, funded by the Department for Transport and delivered by Innovate UK, will aim 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 aim to help design and develop cost-effective, zero emission heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and their refuelling infrastructure in the UK.

Successful projects include an ‘Electric Road System’ feasibility study, led by Costain Ltd, considering a 20-kilometre 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.

Meanwhile, a hydrogen fuel cell feasibility study, led by Arcola Energy Ltd, will design a possible future trial of hydrogen fuel cell trucks and new refuelling infrastructure in Scotland.

These projects, along with 4 other successful feasibility studies, aim to prepare for a potential demonstration of zero emission freight technologies at scale on UK roads and will support the rollout of zero emission technologies to decarbonise heavy transport vehicles.

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. This is an important step in the transition to zero emission road freight.

This announcement follows the launch of government’s transport decarbonisation plan along with the consultation on a phase out date for new non-zero emission HGVs – showcasing our ongoing support for industry to develop new and innovative technologies that will help the UK to meet net zero by 2050.

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