Last reviewed 20 May 2022

The Government plans to invest over £200 million to launch the world’s largest fleet of zero emission heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), accelerating plans to decarbonise road freight.

Transport Minister, Trudy Harrison, has confirmed that the money will be provided for an extensive zero emission road freight demonstrator programme which will run for three years and be launched later this year.

The aim will be to help decarbonise the UK’s freight industry with initial competitions for battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell technology launching shortly. This could see hundreds more zero-emission HGVs rolled out across the nation, the Minister suggested, and could save the industry money, thanks to overall running costs of green vehicles being cheaper than petrol and diesel equivalents.

The transition to zero-emission trucks will also help improve air quality, create greener jobs and deliver on COP26 environmental pledges while reducing reliance on imports of foreign oil.

“Our road freight industry is one of the most efficient in the world and contributes over £13 billion to the UK economy each year,” Ms Harrison said. “But we must accelerate our journey towards our net zero goals, and we’re committed to leading the way globally on non-zero emission road vehicles.”

An open-call competition will be launched for manufacturers, energy providers and fleet and infrastructure operators to showcase their green technology on UK roads.

Michelle Gardner, Acting Deputy Director of Public Policy at Logistics UK, said: “Logistics businesses are committed to decarbonising their operations, but to ensure a smooth transition they need clarity on the path to zero tailpipe emission HGVs. The trials announced today will play a crucial role in identifying the right technological solutions to help enable this.”