An additional £2m has been added to the government funded Low Carbon Truck Demonstration Scheme, taking the total investment to £11.5m, and enabling 13 separate trials to take place.
Under the joint Department for Transport and Technology Strategy Board (TSB) scheme, 13 out of 17 consortiums, consisting of fleet operators, fuel technology firms and truck manufacturers, have been successful in their bids for a share of the funding.
The money 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 low carbon equivalents – up to 50% roughly.
The funding will also help meet the cost of the refuelling points for use by the trial fleets, including the provision of 11 new public access refuelling stations around the country, which will be available for use by other operators.
Of the 13 trials, nine will be led by operators: Ascott Transport; Brit European Transport, Howard Tenens Associates; J.B. Wheaton and Sons; John Lewis Partnership; T Baden Hardstaff; Robert Wiseman Dairies; Tesco; and United Biscuits UK.
Due to the scheme being oversubscribed, TSB added another £2m to the orginal £9.5m pot, enabling an extra “five or six trials to take place”.
Iain Gray, chief executive of TSB, says the two-year trial trial will enable CV operators to “showcase alternative-fuel CVs and help to accelerate a wider understanding and acceptance of low carbon vehicle technologies”.
Over 300 low-carbon CVs will be involved in the trials which are anticipated to get underway over the next two to three months.