Thursday, May 10, 2012

Hundreds of Road Haulage Operators Can Benefit From Green Truck Scheme

North East Operators Will be Paid to Sign Up
Shipping News Feature

UK – A Government green truck project is set to pay to road haulage operators to ensure hundreds of low carbon vehicles take to the roads of the North East. The Technology Strategy Board is investing £9.5 million to place hundreds of electric, hybrid and other low carbon commercial vehicles on UK roads and the Low Carbon Truck Demonstrator Trial project will pay up to 50% of the price difference between a conventional diesel vehicle and the low carbon equivalent. It will also pay up to half of the cost of an electric vehicle (EV) charging point or other ‘cleantech’ refuelling station.

Zero Carbon Futures, the regions leading development and advocacy consultancy for low carbon vehicles (LCV’s), is seeking partners to put together a strong bid from the North-East. The region is already internationally recognised as the UK leader in the development and production of low carbon vehicles. Programme funding is available for purchasing electric trucks with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of over 3.5 tonnes and hybrid trucks with a GVW of over 7.5 tonnes. Bids can be for up to 25 trucks, to be placed with one large fleet or a consortium of smaller operators.

Electric commercial vehicle manufacturer Smith Electric Vehicles will supply vehicles for a free open day to highlight the opportunities for North-East vehicle and system manufacturers, plus truck and large van operators. Zero Carbon Futures is hosting the event which takes place at Gateshead College’s Test Track in Sunderland, on Monday14th May between 8 and 11am. Dr Colin Herron, Managing Director of Zero Carbon Futures, said:

“Trucking accounts for around 20 per cent of the UK’s carbon emissions, so it is crucial that we help the regions transport industry accelerate the adoption of greener technologies. This funding offers haulage, transport and delivery companies the chance to procure green trucks at very attractive prices, helping them to not only lower their carbon footprints but also their cost base, in what is a highly competitive sector.

“As the UK leader in the manufacture and development of low carbon vehicles, North-East England already has all the right elements in place to make a really strong bid. The consortium approach also makes this a unique opportunity for smaller companies in the region to be right at the forefront of some exciting low carbon vehicle technologies.”

To book a place at the event, email zerocarbonfutures@gateshead.ac.uk  or telephone 0191 490 2474. Registrations for the Department for Transport's Low Carbon Truck Demonstration Trial close on the 13th June 2012.

As the UK’s first designated Low Carbon Economic Area (LCEA), North East England is committed to the introduction and adoption of electric vehicles and other low carbon vehicle technologies. Over the last six years, more than £200miillion has been invested in developing the regions world-leading expertise in this sector. Zero Carbon Futures was established in 2012 by Gateshead College, to develop and implement the College's international low carbon vehicle strategy.

Based at the £10million Skills Academy for Sustainable Manufacturing and Innovation (SASMI), in Washington, Tyne & Wear, also the home town of Smiths Electric Vehicles, it has a broad remit including delivery of job creation programmes, advising on sustainable manufacturing techniques and overseeing the growth of Gateshead College test track and low carbon vehicle development workshops.

Designed specifically for low carbon vehicles, the performance track offers a comprehensive range of charging and refuelling systems, including hydrolisers, a photovoltaic canopy, EV charging points (both standard and fast charge) and biofuel tanks. The 50sq m workshops include five bays available on flexible terms from day hire to a year lease. The infrastructure includes high-speed internet, a fast-charge bay for EVs, three-phase electricity supply, exhaust extraction systems and a range of vehicle lifts.

The creation of this track is the last element in the regional provision of a comprehensive offering for the low carbon vehicle sector. North East England is already home to the Nissan LEAF production facility from March 2013 and battery assembly plant, as well as leading EV producers including Smith Electric Vehicles and AVID Vehicles. Gateshead College provides training and learning in all key areas of the sector.

The College also administers the Government’s Plugged in Places project, through its Charge Your Car initiative. This aims to install over 1,000 EV charging points across the region by 2013. The initiative intends to encourage adoption of EVs and capture data on how early adopters use and charge their vehicles.