DfT offers £15m road pollution reduction research pot

The UK Government Department for Transport (DfT) has urged businesses to bid for a £15 million pot of cash to lead research into low emission technology for cars, vans and lorries.

The DfT Roads Minister Jesse Norman made the announcement late last week.

Norman said in a statement, “We have made important progress in lowering emissions and are always looking at further ways of improving air quality.

“Lorries cause a third of the UK ’s transport CO₂ emissions and simple new technologies can have the greatest impact in reducing the harmful pollutants of freight.

“This funding will give UK companies the chance to lead the world in developing important innovations to improve air quality across the country.”

The DfT reported that the first of the projects in the government’s low emission freight and logistics trial, announced earlier this year, are now using new electric and hydrogen dual-fuel vehicles on UK roads. By mid-2018, added the DfT, more than 300 of these low emission vehicles will be on UK roads.

While £15 million sound like a lot, this pales into comparison with the spends of the EU and even individual countries remaining in the bloc. There are thousands of deaths annually attributed to fossil fuel engine pollution and the DfT could spend a lot more to tackle the costs the NHS has caused by the problem. While electric vehicle technology is market led, there is some need for a focus on HGVs as they can’t carry enough batteries to viably do the long distances many do daily.

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