An extra £11 million is being given by the government to a low carbon truck trial in a bid to help make the haulage industry more environmentally friendly. The Low Carbon Truck Demonstration Trial is a collaborative initiative between the Department for Transport and the Technology Strategy Board.
A total of £23 million has been put into the scheme which has 13 well known companies playing a role in the trial. These include Tesco, the John Lewis Partnership, Robert Wiseman and BOC Group, which all use trucks to transport products to and from location across the UK.
Mike Penning, the Freight Minister, said: “These trials will reduce CO2 emissions from freight and provide important information from a range of real-life situations that will increase industry confidence in low carbon trucks in the long term.”
One of the barriers which has traditionally been cited as a reason for operators shying away from diesel alternatives is a lack of refuelling infrastructure up and down the country for gas-powered vehicles.
Part of the funding consists of £2.4 million specifically earmarked for creating a system of gas stations to be made available to the public and companies.
This should enable firms to invest in low carbon trucks and vehicles as there will be no problem finding a place to refuel them.
The trial itself will involve more than 300 low carbon trucks and commercial vehicles and will act as a stepping stone between traditional vehicles and alternative and dual fuel trucks.
Part of the funding attached to the project will pay for the setting up of 11 refuelling points to service the trucks in the trial and any other motorists wishing to use them.
John Lewis is aiming to cut carbon emissions by 70 per cent through the use of aerodynamic solutions and bio-methane fuel in its articulated vehicle fleet.
J B Wheaton will test fuel derived from compressed natural gas or liquid natural gas blended with renewable biomethane and United Biscuits will trial used cooking oil as a fuel for its trucks.