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In the UK, lorries are causing a third of transport CO2 emissions. With simple new technologies, we can massively help reduce these harmful pollutants, improving our air quality.

Roads Minister Jesse Norman has advised that UK businesses research into using low emission technology for lorries, alongside cars and vans. Since 2010, the Office for Low Emission Vehicles and Innovate UK have invested more than £300 million into research and development. These developments mean that materials used in the process of building vehicles will result in the vehicles being lighter, and will improve the efficiency of the engine or battery.

Jesse Norman said: “We have made important progress in lowering emissions and are always looking at further ways of improving air quality. This funding will give the UK companies the chance to lead the world in developing important innovations to improve air quality across the country.”

The trial has been developed with Innovate UK and aims to help the Government achieve its ambition to be a global leader in electric vehicle technology and to see all new vehicles emission free by 2040.

The aim of the trial is to demonstrate new technologies and to encourage the widespread introduction of low and zero emission vehicles to UK fleets.

Innovate UK’s Manufacturing and Materials Director Simon Edmonds said: “These 20 projects around the UK will spearhead the uptake of the next generation of innovative low emission freight and fleet vehicles. The impact will benefit the environment, particularly in our big cities. It builds on the results of previous low carbon projects with OLEV, and the data collected from this new trial will be invaluable to future development and commercialisation of these vital technologies.”

The programme will help the UK to meet its CO2 reduction targets – and represents another step towards the government’s target for all new cars and vans to be zero emission by 2040.