£40m heavy duty vehicle energy project launched

The Energy Technologies Institute yesterday launched one of Europe’s largest heavy duty vehicle efficiency programmes. The £40m programme will look at increasing the efficiencies of shipping, heavy goods vehicles, construction […]

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By Kelvin Ross

The Energy Technologies Institute yesterday launched one of Europe’s largest heavy duty vehicle efficiency programmes.

The £40m programme will look at increasing the efficiencies of shipping, heavy goods vehicles, construction and agricultural equipment by almost a third.

Heavy duty vehicles currently contribute 8% of the UK’s overall CO2 emissions. The low carbon fuel options for replacing liquid fossil fuels as the energy source for HDV applications are currently limited.

Fuel efficiency and low carbon liquid fuels such as biofuels are now being seen as the keys to the future affordability, security and sustainability of HDV operations in the UK.

The Energy Technologies Institute is a public-private partnership set up to develop “mass scale” technologies to help the UK meet its 2020 and 2050 energy targets.

ETI chief executive David Clarke said: “Given the economic, security and climate change benefits of reducing fuel consumption, there is a significant opportunity for early benefits from the introduction of improved vehicles, especially as the focus of European legislation is likely to move from emissions to fuel efficiency over the period required to develop significant vehicle technology improvements.”

“Findings from a feasibility study commissioned by the ETI in 2009 have highlighted that there are significant opportunities to accelerate vehicle technology development through investment in a range of platform technologies which will help enable and support vehicle and vessel system development.”

The ETI programme will look at systems integration and technology development across the heavy duty vehicle sector, culminating in full-scale demonstrations of developed technologies. The expectation is that vehicles and vessels incorporating technologies from this project will be on sale by 2020.