The UK government is taking a step forward towards the decarbonisation of the road freight sector with its Zero Emission Road Freight Demonstrator (ZERFD) program, says Ross's MP Jesse Norman.
In response to a question raised by Conservative MP Alberto Costa, Jesse Norman, Minister of State for the Department of Transport, highlighted that the program will see hundreds of zero-emission HGVs deployed on UK roads. The aim is to demonstrate several zero-emission HGV technologies and inform which technology, or technology mix, is best suited for use in the UK. The program follows £20m of funding provided in 2021/22 as part of the Zero Emission Road Freight Trials (ZERFT) program, which saw the deployment of 20 battery-electric trucks.
The ZERFD program will collect a strong evidence base to enable long-term, strategic infrastructure decisions to be made to decarbonise the road freight sector, both by the government and industry. The program is expected to provide a considerable boost to the funding of electric HGV research and development, an issue that has long been a concern for environmentalists and industry experts alike.
The deployment of zero-emission HGVs on UK roads will be a major step in reducing the country's carbon footprint and help to achieve the government's ambitious target of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. The ZERFD program will allow the government to identify the most efficient technologies for decarbonising the road freight sector, which is currently responsible for a significant portion of the country's carbon emissions. This investment in the development of electric HGVs is expected to create new jobs, reduce air pollution and help to meet the UK's climate goals.
The announcement has been welcomed by environmentalists, who have long been calling for the government to take more aggressive action on reducing carbon emissions. The ZERFD program is an important step in the right direction and demonstrates that the government is committed to creating a greener, more sustainable future for the UK.