TRUCK OPERATORS are being invited to bid for a slice of a £9.5m fund to drive low carbon vehicles.
The Low carbon truck demonstration trial will deliver fleets of low-emission heavy goods vehicles as well as supporting infrastructure such as fuelling stations and electric recharging hubs.
The funding will come from the Department for Transport and the Technology Strategy Board.
The initiative follows the removal of the 20 pence per litre tax differential for biodiesel produced from used cooking oil, which some have said will see operators and distributors abandon their environmental fuel policies.
Transport Minister Mike Penning highlighted that almost a quarter of carbon from transport in the UK comes from heavy goods vehicles.
This is a key area for us to tackle. 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.
The investment in gas refuelling infrastructure will also give haulage firms a push to buy gas-powered HGVs 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 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.
To qualify for the competition, vehicles must deliver carbon savings of at least 15% compared with the equivalent conventional vehicle. 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.
Gas refuelling 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.