A range of alternative fuels and vehicle technology is to be trialled by the freight sector through a £20m government programme to reduce vehicle emissions and improve air quality.

Announcing the news at this week’s Sustainable Road Transport Conference, transport minister John Hayes said 20 firms have been selected to develop new ways to deploy widespread introduction of low and zero-emission freight vehicles to UK fleets.

The DfT said the freight industry accounts for about 30% of the UK’s CO2 transport emissions and the funding will help fleets get their new vehicles on the roads from mid-2017 onwards.

Hayes said: "Each one of these successful projects will help cut vehicle emissions, improving air quality and reducing pollution in towns and cities. This is yet another important step towards this government’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions from transport to help tackle climate change.

"We are already making headway through our investment in low emission vehicles, greener public transport and walking and cycling, as well as grants for innovative advanced biofuels projects," he added.

Funding for the Low Emission Freight and Logistics Trial  is being delivered by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles and Innovate UK.

Innovate UK’s manufacturing and materials director Simon Edmonds said the 20 projects will “spearhead” the uptake of the next generation of low-emission freight vehicles, with significant environmental benefits for big cities.

"The data collected from this new trial will be invaluable to future development and commercialisation of these vital technologies," he added.

The DfT said the programme will help the UK meet its CO2 reduction targets – and represents another step towards the government’s target for all new cars and vans to be zero emission by 2040.

There were more than 40 applications for the scheme, with the full list of winning projects described below.

Stream One projects
Lead companyProject summaryType of technologyNumber of vehicles
ULEMCo (Liverpool)This project will trial a range of vehicles with hydrogen dual-fuel technologyHydrogen9
Tevva Motors (Chelmsford)A fleet-wide pilot to prove new battery-range-extending technology and develop a universal battery cassette.Batteries15
Air Liquide Group (Kingston-upon-Thames)This project will trial gas HGVs ranging from 26 tonne to 44 tonne. Biogas will be introduced during the project. In addition five refrigeration units will use a prototype liquid nitrogen system.Gas86
UPS Limited (Feltham)The project will design, tender and implement an innovative smart charging system that, together with an energy storage system, will allow UPS to exceed the current maximum number of vehicles to be charged in a depot.Electric30
Gnewt Cargo (Southwark)Gnewt proposes to lease 33 electric vehicles to perform last-mile logistics.Electric33
G-volution Plc (Newport)The consortium will demonstrate 15 dual-fuel (diesel/methane) road vehicles. Innovation is demonstrated in three main areas, 1) Engine Combustion control, 2) Computer based engine modelling and 3) new super efficient methane catalysts.Gas15
Magnomatics Limited (Sheffield)For this project, two 18t trucks will be trialled with Calor, demonstrating new Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle powertrains.Hybrid2
Kuehne + Nagel Ltd (Wellingborough)A trial of both dedicated gas and direct injection dual-fuel methane/diesel trucks. The trucks will refuel with liquid biomethane, which is derived from wastes and is a sustainable and renewable fuel.Gas and duel fuel29
Kuehne + Nagel Ltd (Wellingborough)Whitbread will operate four fully electric, two range extended electric and two liquid nitrogen-cooled refrigeration vehicles on temperature controlled transport routes.Electric8
Zapinamo Limited (Soho)Zapinamo will trial movable, connected, power-boosting electric vehicle charging infrastructure using hybrid Li-ion / Lithium-titanate batteries.Electric20
Lawrence David Limited (Peterborough)This project will design, build and trial six demonstrator lightweight aerodynamic double-deck trailers. A range of lightweightLightweight vehicles6
CNG Fuels Limited (Solihull)The project will trial a significantly sized fleet of dedicated gas HGVs to demonstrate their suitability for large scale roll-out.Gas43
Howdens Joinery Group PLC (Northampton)This project aims to evaluate the energy and emissions benefits of a kinetic energy recovery system for urban delivery vehicles, including both articulated and rigid vehiclesKinetic Energy Recovery System20


Stream Two Projects
Advanced Fuel Technologies (Stroud)The project will trial an on-vehicle system for enriching hydrocarbon fuels with hydrogen in a pressurised unit.Hydrogen0
TotalSim Ltd (Brackley)The project will trial an Aerodynamic Configurator for Transport (ACT). HGV geometries submitted to ACT are assessed for aerodynamic efficiency under a range of real-world conditions and drive cycles.Aerodynaic Truck design0
Idox Software Ltd (trading as Cloud Amber) (Reading)This project will trial a smartphone application which uses traffic signal data to transform fleet driver behaviour, encouraging them through gamification to drive in a more efficient manner.Driver Behaviour12
Tevva Motors Limited (Chelmsford)The project will deliver two demonstration trucks using highly innovative electrical machines from Newcastle University and Nissan batteries. Activities, beyond this project are intended to put these components into production.Electric2
Wider Aspect Innovation Ltd (Glasgow)This project will develop a fuel save system for large commercial vehicles by utilising the Coanda Effect to reduce aerodynamic drag.Vehicle design2
Arcola Energy (Dalston)This project will develop an integrated zero emissions drivetrain for a light commercial van.Electric0
Magnetic Systems Technology Ltd (Sheffield)MagTec proposes to repower a diesel refuse collection vehicle with an electric drive train and electric actuators for its hydraulic systems.Electric1