Monday, January 29, 2018

Electric Truck and Van Freight and Logistics Trials Update at Free to Visit Transport Conference

(Plus a Chance to Get Recognition for Your Best Commercial Drivers)
Shipping News Feature
UK – Innovate UK, the government organ charged with turning potential new technologies into commercial success stories, is to deliver an update on the £20 million government Low Emission Freight and Logistics Trials (LEFT) at the Microlise Transport Conference this May. LEFT includes electric vans and trucks, as well as hydrogen dual-fuel vehicles, as part of a multi-million pound programme to cut emissions and improve air quality. Various consortia ranging from sectors including freight forwarding, commercial vehicle body builders and electric truck makers are taking part in the trials, operating these advanced technologies in real-world scenarios while capturing data.

Microlise, which produces telematics and journey management solutions, is playing a part in the programme, assimilating data for several of the trials and hosting the conference at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry on May 16, and the Nottingham based group says most of the project vehicles will be launched and operational by that time. Venn Chesterton, Innovate UK’s Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) Lead, will outline the latest developments and describe what the next steps are in demonstrating how once futuristic technologies could be implemented sooner rather than later. He commented:

“Over 200 alternatively fuelled vehicles are participating in this trial, the aim is to demonstrate new technologies and to encourage the wide-spread introduction of low and zero emission vehicles to UK fleets. Significant progress will have been made by May and I hope to be able to share many interesting insights with the audience at the conference.”

Chesterton’s main role at Innovate UK is to help companies turn technology and business model concepts into successful product and service innovations that boost the UK economy and deliver policy objectives such as improved air quality and reduced CO2 emissions. Prior to joining Innovate UK, Chesterton was the ULEV Lead at Transport Research laboratory, where he led numerous projects including helping set up LoCITY, which is dedicated to lowering commercial vehicle emissions.

Last year’s Microlise conference and exhibition attracted more than 1,200 transport professionals and May’s free to attend event will include a full day’s programme supported by focused workshops, a sizable exhibition area and an all new innovation zone. LEFT is 100% funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), with Innovate UK acting as 'delivery partner'.

At the conference, the Microlise Driver of the Year Awards will again celebrate the UK’s most talented HGV drivers, both through analysis of more than 180,000 anonymous drivers’ telematics data, and via industry nominated categories. These include HGV Hero, Lifetime Achievement, Extra Mile, Most Improved and Young Driver of the Year. Anyone can nominate a driver for the Microlise Driver of the Year Awards via this link, whilst registration to attend the event can be made here. Bob Harbey, Microlise Executive Director, concluded with a thought on the conference, saying:

“We have positioned innovation at the heart of the agenda. With significant government policy shifts underway, including the introduction of Clean Air Zones in many urban locations, the transport industry needs to stay up to date with the latest advances, particularly those reducing emissions and minimising environmental impact.”