It has been announced that the government is set to run a £9.5 million demonstration programme in order to further encourage road haulage operators in the UK to extend, or even begin, their use of low carbon commercial vehicles.
Emissions and Costs
This is, on the face of it, a fairly expensive scheme, however it is hopefully one that will massively reduce our carbon footprint in the UK. It may also reduce commercial vehicle insurance quotes for a number of enterprises. Heavy goods vehicles currently contribute to around 20% of the UK’s domestic transport CO2 emissions, which is a startling amount.
The trial is to be managed by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and the Department for Transport. The programme will enable operators to establish a fleet of alternative and dual fuel heavy goods vehicles along with electric and hybrid commercial vehicles too. The government are offering to part fund the difference in capital cost between the traditional HGV’s and their low carbon counterparts.
Furthermore, the government has stated that the trial programme will also part fund the refuelling or charging point for use by the trial fleet.
Mike Penning, the Transport Minister, has been quoted saying: “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.”
The trial fleets will run for two years which will enable the relevant people to gather enough data in order to analyse whether the programme was worthwhile or not. Any business from small to medium, as well as large operators, are eligible to get involved with the trial programme and every application must be a collaboration and be led by a vehicle operator.
Whether this trial programme works out to be a success or not remains to be seen, however what is for sure is that the carbon footprint in the UK, for at the very least the two year scheme, will undoubtedly be reduced.
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