An £11milion fund from the Government is set to help fleet operators test out new low carbon technology.
The £23million programme, managed by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) in partnership with the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles, is aimed at encouraging the use of clean fuels for heavy goods vehicles.
Tesco, John Lewis and the BOC Group are among 13 companies which have signed up to trial the programme.
Freight Minister Mike Penning said: “These trials will reduce CO2 emissions from freight and provide important information from a range of real-life situations that will increase confidence in low carbon trucks in the long term.
“For example, operators often cite lack of gas refuelling infrastructure as a barrier to the take up of alternatives to diesel. These trials include £2.4 million funding for publicly accessible gas stations, which will encourage investment in low carbon trucks and other vehicles, delivering long term benefits for the environment and reduced costs for operators.”
The demonstration trial fleets will run for two years, with more than 300 low-carbon commercial vehicles expected to be involved in the programme.