Government announces £20m funding to accelerate the rollout of zero-emission road freight

Tue 27 July 2021 View all news

The Department for Transport has announced a further £20m funding aimed to speed the introduction of zero-emission road freight. The ZERF trials will help to develop innovative solutions to support the uptake of zero emission trucks of all types.

The announcement of the funding follows the launch of the  Government’s transport decarbonisation plan, in which a consultation on phase out dates for the sale of new non-zero emission heavy goods vehicles was announced.

Using learning from field testing battery-electric vehicles in a real-world environment, and from undertaking feasibility studies, Government aims to help in the design, development and supply of cost-effective, zero emission heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and their refuelling infrastructure in the UK.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "Through our bold and ambitious transport decarbonisation plan, we’re leading the way in the transition to zero emission vehicles by becoming the first country in the world to commit to ending the sale of all new fossil-fuelled road vehicles by 2040, subject to consultation. 

"From Doncaster to Scotland, by working in partnership with industry, this funding will allow us to better understand the role of zero emission HGVs while levelling up the industry and boosting regional economies."

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 ER. Electric Road Systems supply battery-electric trucks with electricity from overhead catenaries via a pantograph enabling HGVs to charge dynamically and operate with much smaller batteries than would otherwise be necessary.

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, and a range of projects on supply chain and battery electric trucks, 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.

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