Pioneers in the design, engineering and operation of low-carbon vehicles were recognised at the annual Low Carbon Champions Awards last week at Milton Keynes.

TV personality, writer and blogger Robert Llewellyn - who starred in Red Dwarf and Scrapheap Challenge - was Master of Ceremonies, presenting the Awards at the Double Tree by Hilton, MK Dons Stadium, at a networking dinner attended by more than 380 industry representatives and low-carbon transport stakeholders.

Winning the event’s top accolade, the ‘Grand Prix’ award for Outstanding Achievement in Low Carbon Transport was bus and coach manufacturer Optare for its work in the field of electric buses.

The judges said Optare had taken significant commercial risk in achieving its market leading position, with the company’s electric buses making an important contribution to improving air quality in towns and cities. They added Optare had a “real pedigree” in terms of battery technology and worked very well in building partnerships with local authorities.

Optare also scooped a second award for its electric buses, alongside joint winner Scania GB, in the Low Carbon Heavy Duty Vehicle Manufacturer of the Year Award - a category that Freight in the City was proud to sponsor.

Truck manufacturer Scania was recognised for the development of its HGV gas chassis. The judges said: “Scania has been observing and evaluating the market and then delivered an exceptionally good product with lower associated risk.”

Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership MD Andy Eastlake said: “The winning entries – and those recognised as runners-up and shortlisted – are exciting examples of a vibrant and innovative low-carbon road transport sector in the UK that is going from strength to strength.”

The judging panel comprised 21 senior executives from across the range of organisations with a stake in the low-carbon road transport agenda.

Michael Hurwitz, director, Energy, Technology & International at the Department for Transport and one of the judges, said: “These awards are a fantastic opportunity to recognise the achievements of the low-carbon transport sector and to celebrate the excellence of UK innovation. It is exciting to see such vibrant ideas and cutting-edge technologies as the government continues to support industry with £500m invested in low-emission vehicles over the next five years.”

The awards took place on the first night of the annual Cenex LCV2015 event that took place last week at Millbrook Proving Ground and showcased the latest vehicles and initiatives in the low-carbon vehicle sector.

Robert Evans, chief executive of Cenex, said: “The LCV2015 event brings the low-carbon vehicle community together for two days of technology showcasing and networking, with the evening dinner extending valuable networking time.”


‘Grand Prix Award’: Outstanding Achievement in Low Carbon Transport (Winner of winners)

  • Winner: Optare

Outstanding Individual in Promoting Low Carbon Transport

  • Joint Award: Professor Neville Jackson, Ricardo; Dr Doug Parr, Greenpeace UK

Low Carbon Car /Van Manufacturer of the Year

  •  Winner: Mitsubishi Motors UK

Low Carbon Heavy Duty Vehicle Manufacturer of the Year

  •  Joint Winners: Optare and Scania GB

Low Carbon Vehicle Operator of the Year

  •  Winner: Dundee City Council

Low Carbon Fuel Initiative of the Year

  •  Winner: Convert to Green Ltd

2015 Award for Low Carbon Innovation by an SME

  •  Joint Winners: Avid Technology; Wirth Research

Low Carbon Road Transport Initiative of the Year

  •  Winner: GENeco

2014 Outstanding Low Carbon Publication or Report

  •  Winner: Urban Foresight