The Government have announced £200 million of funding to decarbonise freight vehicles, drive innovation and create new jobs as part of a week of action to support the sector.
With heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) contributing 20% to all transport emissions across the UK, the funding will be invested across four innovative green projects to roll out up to 370 zero-emission HGVs, help set road freight on the path towards net zero, drive innovation and create new jobs.
Delivered in partnership with Innovate UK, Government investment from the zero-emission HGV and infrastructure demonstrator programme will also deliver around 57 refuelling and electric charging sites to help the haulage sector decarbonise.
“Freight and logistics are the beating heart of our economy and it is only right that we celebrate the sector so that it gets the recognition and support it deserve.”
This funding comes as part of the government’s commitment to making the right long-term decisions for a sustainable future and decarbonising the freight sector is a key part of building that.
Roads Minister Richard Holden said: “Freight and logistics are the beating heart of our economy and it is only right that we celebrate the sector so that it gets the recognition and support it deserves.
“From boosting zero emission tech across freight to attracting the future generation of talent to the industry, we are working hard to drive innovation, create jobs and grow the economy by building a brighter, more innovative future for one of our most crucial industries.”
Decarbonisation Minister Jesse Norman said: “The UK is at the forefront of the global transition to net zero, and today marks another important milestone to decarbonise freight, one of the economy’s most vital industries.
This week has also seen the publication of the zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate which sets out the percentage of new zero-emission cars and vans that manufacturers will be required to produce each year up to 2030 as part of a new, realistic pathway to 100% zero-emission vehicle sales from 2035.
Indro Mukerjee, CEO of Innovate UK, said: “Together with the Department for Transport, the £200 million in Government funding will develop world-leading battery and hydrogen trucks and demonstrate at a large scale, creating greener jobs, and boosting our net zero economy.”
To further drive innovation in freight and logistics, an additional £2.4 million has also been unlocked through the second round of the Freight Innovation Fund (FIF).
As part of the fund, the FIF Accelerator is now open for applications and will help up to 10 SMEs develop new ways to make freight greener, more efficient, and more resilient.
The £7 million, three-year Freight Innovation Fund aims to scale up and roll out innovative technology across the industry to decarbonise freight.
“Together with the Department for Transport, the £200 million in Government funding will develop world-leading battery and hydrogen trucks and demonstrate at a large scale, creating greener jobs, and boosting our net zero economy.”
Freight Week will also see the launch of two Calls for Evidence to continue exploring new ways for the freight industry to decarbonise and become more efficient.
With the Department providing approximately £20 million per year in freight revenue grants, the Government will also consider how to boost freight across a variety of modes.
Freight Week follows the decision to extend the fuel duty cut to March 2024 and the 33 unprecedented actions from the Department to support the haulage sector which include up to £100 million in joint government and industry funding to improve roadside facilities for lorry drivers, £34 million to create up to 11,000 skill bootcamps and increase the capacity for HGV driver tests by 90% compared to pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels.