Fund will help road freighters in UK to buy green vehicles

Capital funding of £8m will be made available by the government in 2012 to encourage the UK’s road-freight industry to buy and use low-emission medium- and heavy-goods vehicles (HGVs).

The funding includes £6.5m for a low-emission goods-vehicle demonstration trial, plus the supporting infrastructure for trial vehicles, with a further £1.5m targeted funding for public gas-refuelling hubs.

According to a statement, extensive work with industry has shown that there are market barriers to the uptake of low-emission HGV technologies such as hybrid, electric and gas. Consequently, Britain lacks a UK manufacturing base in these technologies.

These barriers are said to centre around a lack of industry confidence in the technologies and an unwillingness to take on the risks of investment.

Facilitating investment in these technologies and their supporting infrastructure — and encouraging and assisting UK operators to buy and use low-emission medium- and heavy-goods vehicles — will develop an early-stage market for the technologies. This will help ensure the development of a UK manufacturing base that can compete in the international low-emission vehicle market.

The investment will be channelled through a funding competition managed on behalf of the Department for Transport by the Technology Strategy Board.