Cleaner, greener van fleets could be a reality on our roads, thanks to a new Department for Transport fund outlined by Transport Minister Jim Fitzpatrick.
The programme, which will cost an initial £20million, will procure lower carbon vehicle models for use in public sector fleets, thereby using the public sector’s purchasing power to kick-start the market for lower carbon vans.
Should initial trials be successful, an additional £30million has been earmarked to be used to develop the programme further.
Mr Fitzpatrick said: “Bringing cleaner, greener vehicles on to the market as soon as possible is a priority for the Government, but we want to direct our efforts where they will have the biggest impact in reducing emissions and tackling climate change.
“Vans account for around 15% of carbon emissions from road transport, but currently there are no mass market low carbon models on offer to the UK van buyer – although the technology to create them exists.
"By using the public sector’s considerable purchasing power, we aim to give investors and manufacturers confidence in the existence of a market for lower carbon vans, to encourage them to bring them to market more quickly than they would do otherwise.
"This could have a big impact in cutting carbon emissions on our roads.”
The DfT will shortly issue a competitive tender to appoint a partner organisation with specialist technical and commercial expertise on low carbon vehicles to deliver the programme.
The appointment is expected to be made early this year.
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