The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) welcomes today’s announcement that up to £2.5 million Government funding is being made available to increase the range of vehicle retrofit technologies capable of cutting emissions from larger road vehicles already in use and enable them to meet Clean Air Zone and ULEZ requirements.
The funding will support vital testing of new technologies for the ground-breaking Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS) which has been developed by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership and is administered by Energy Saving Trust.
Commercial vehicles (vans trucks and buses) are responsible for 38% (the Committee on Climate Change report 2018) of total carbon dioxide emissions and over 50% (National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory) of the nitrogen oxides (NOx) emitted by road transport, so tackling pollutants from the current fleet to improve air quality and health is vital.
Thanks to the LowCVP’s acclaimed ‘Low Emission Bus Accreditation Scheme’ the UK already has the largest low emission bus fleet in Europe. Coach and refuse collection vehicle applications are also being approved now, but the large truck fleet has largely been overlooked – until now. These new funds will help make it possible to develop and test a range of new solutions for operators needing cost-effective retrofit options for other large vehicles.
This funding is a part of the Government’s wider plans to dramatically improve air quality and tackle climate change. Local councils can already bid for support from the £220 million Clean Air Fund to help fund retrofitting of vehicles with technologies accredited through the CVRAS.
LowCVP’s Managing Director, Andy Eastlake, said: “We need a multi-faceted approach to tackling air pollution. This initiative is an important step to help clean more of the current fleet, whilst we wait for the penetration of ULEVs to increase. Retrofit is a key element of the overall package and will enable innovative solutions to be brought forward which can make a real difference to air quality in the short and medium term.”
Energy Saving Trust’s Programme Manager for Freight and Clean Vehicle Retrofit, Colin Smith, said: “Tackling air pollution in our towns and cities will benefit everyone, including fleet operators. We can’t wait for normal fleet replacement cycles to improve fleet emissions – there is an issue with air quality now.
“One option for reducing emissions is to retrofit existing fleet vehicles. However, we need to ensure retrofit systems achieve the required emissions reduction and this means approval tests for which there is an associated cost. This fund will help remove this key barrier and get more retrofit systems approved across a wider range of vehicles, enabling more vehicles to be retrofitted, thereby reducing the transport emissions that cause air quality issues in our towns and cities.”