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UK to provide more than £11M to £23M alternative & dual-fuel heavy-duty vehicle demonstration program; more than 300 vehicles

The UK government will provide more than £11 million (US$17.5 million) in support to a £23 million (US$36.6 million) demonstration program to encourage road haulage operators in the UK to buy and use lower carbon commercial vehicles.

The Government funding will help operators establish and run fleets of alternative & dual-fuel heavy-goods vehicles by meeting part of the difference in capital cost between traditional vehicles and their lower carbon equivalents. More than 300 low-carbon commercial vehicles will be involved in the demonstration program. The funding will also help meet the cost of the refueling points for use by the trial fleets, including the provision of 11 new public access refueling stations around the country, which will be available for use by other operators.

The demonstration trial fleets will be run for two years, during which time usage data will be gathered and analysed by the Department for Transport.

The thirteen demonstrator trials will be led by: Ascott Transport Ltd (Derbyshire), Brit European Transport Ltd (Crewe), CNG Services Ltd (Solihull; 2 trials), G-Volution Ltd (Newport, Gwent), Howard Tenens Associates Ltd (Gloucestershire & Wiltshire), J.B. Wheaton and Sons Ltd (Somerset), John Lewis Partnership plc (London), T Baden Hardstaff Ltd (Nottingham), Robert Wiseman Dairies (Glasgow), Tesco plc (Northants), The BOC Group (Guildford) and United Biscuits UK Ltd (Leicestershire).

The demonstrator trials include:

  • The John Lewis Partnership working with partners to demonstrate a 70% reduction in carbon emissions in a wide range of articulated vehicles. This will be achieved by combining recent research into truck aerodynamics with technology that substitutes the majority of the diesel used with bio-methane, and many other interventions.

  • A project led by G-Volution that will trial ten 44 tonne dual-fuel commercial HGVs using their patented dual fuel technology ‘Optimiser’ and biomethane. The articulated trucks, converted to dual-fuel, will be trialed alongside diesel equivalents, providing direct comparison data for different operating environments.

  • United Biscuits collaborative project, which proposes to exploit the value in used cooking oil by creating a renewable fuel solution for use in 44 tonne articulated vehicles in a way that is innovative and provides greater greenhouse gas savings than other liquid fuel.

  • J.B. Wheaton and Sons Ltd will trial, with other fleet operators, the use of 28 vehicles that will be fueled from compressed natural gas or liquid natural gas blended with renewable biomethane to run dual fuel gas converted trucks. The project will also provide seven fixed refueling stations & five mobile stations, which can be shared with other fleet operators.

  • Robert Wiseman Diaries, collaborating with Chive Fuels, Cenex and MIRA, will trial the use of 40 new warranted dual fuel 40 tonne articulated trucks substituting diesel with natural gas from two upgraded public access liquefied natural gas stations, one in the West Midlands and one in Scotland.

The program will be managed by Technology Strategy Board in partnership with the Department for Transport and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV). OLEV is a cross-Whitehall team that has been established to manage a program of measures designed to promote uptake of the next-generation of ultra-low emission vehicle technologies. Comprising people and funding from the Departments for Transport; Business, Innovation and Skills; and Energy and Climate Change, OLEV is responsible for taking forward a national policy on this shared agenda.


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