Transport for London (TfL) is poised to launch a low-emission commercial vehicle programme to help stimulate the market for low, ultra low or zero-emission vans and lorries.

Split into three distinct work streams, the project will first concentrate on increasing the availability and affordability of viable low-emission commercial vehicles and retrofit technology.

The next stage will see TfL looking to establish an alternative fuel and supply chain infrastructure to support an increase in low-emission trucks and vans.

Finally, the project will help operators understand their options and make informed fleet buying decisions to encourage widespread uptake of low-emission commercial vehicles. TfL will also work with public sector planning and procurement bodies to further support uptake of greener fleets.

Speaking at the FTA’s Managing Freight in London conference earlier this week (2 June), Glen Davies, TfL programme manager – freight and logistics, said he believed the timing was right to bring together the successful work already carried out by operator trials and begin to form consistent benchmarks.

“I think the industry can educate us. There is a lot of investment and good practice. Some of the large 3PLs, particularly in retail and food sectors, are trialling alternative fuels.

“We need to harvest that. We can learn from the industry and help inform the rest of the industry,” he added.

TfL announced this week it was seeking partners for future charging infrastructure to support ultra-low emission vehicles with an initial investment of £10m available for rapid charging technology.