Three vehicle retrofit suppliers have been awarded almost £1m in Government funding to support the accreditation of new pollution-cutting technology.
Eminox, Proventia and Baumot will use the funding to help provide retrofit solutions for many more vehicles in the commercial sector.
The funding is being awarded under the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS), which was developed by the LowCVP and Energy Saving Trust.
Subject to contracts being signed, the projects will seek to bring accredited retrofit solutions to the market for applications of 17 coaches, 12 trucks, one taxi and one refuse collection vehicle, as well as seven more bus engines.
The funding represents a part of the Government's response to the urgent need to improve air quality in some of Britain's most polluted areas. Local councils can already bid for support from the £220 million Clean Air Fund to help fund retrofit and other solutions.
The CVRAS scheme aims 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 that are being introduced by some local authorities.
Commercial vehicles (vans, trucks and buses) are responsible for 38% of total carbon dioxide emissions and more than 50% 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 one of the largest low emission bus fleets 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.
LowCVP’s managing director, Andy Eastlake, said: “We need a range of policy tools to tackle the urgent problems associated with air pollution. Adopting electric vehicles or changing to the latest clean new trucks and buses needs to be in operators’ longer-term plans, but we also need more immediate options to deliver cleaner air in the shortest time possible. Developing robust retrofit solutions for 'hard-to-tackle' vehicles is an expensive business and this funding will help bring more fully accredited solutions to the market.
"I'm delighted to see these new solutions in the pipeline and would reiterate that operators must use accredited systems only to meet CAZ requirements. They should not be tempted by a non-approved product; if it looks too good to be true, it probably is."