The Government has announced a £20 million fund for zero-emission road freight projects, including feasibility studies into electric road systems and hydrogen fuel cell trucks.
The electric road system feasibility study, led by Costain, will be 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.
The consortium includes Scania and Siemens Mobility.
William Wilson, CEO of Siemens Mobility said: “Investing in proven technologies like eHighways can help us go further and faster to decarbonise the UK’s transport network, and support jobs and growth to level up the country.
“By building on successful trials from other countries like Germany, our ERS consortium M180 trial will help the UK move a step closer to replacing more polluting trucks with clean, efficient electric HGVs.”
A hydrogen fuel cell feasibility study, led by Arcola Energy, will design a possible future trial of hydrogen fuel cell trucks and new refuelling infrastructure in Scotland.
Richard Kemp-Harper, strategy director at Arcola Energy, said: “We’re pleased to be leading this initiative to decarbonise heavy-duty transport.
“The study will enable us to expand the application of Arcola Energy’s A-Drive fuel cell powertrain platform to a critical group of HGV operators that can benefit from Scotland’s strong potential for green hydrogen production.”
These projects, along with four 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, the Government said.
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 funding 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.
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.”