Bringing together leading logistics providers, high street names and leading hauliers, the eFREIGHT 2030 consortium was selected to join the UK government’s Zero emission HGV and infrastructure demonstrator programme. Led by Voltempo, developers of the British designed and manufactured electric HGV megawatt charging system, the eFREIGHT 2030 consortium aims to stimulate the deployment of long haul zero emission HGVs.

The challenge

Most of the freight moved around the UK is carried on trucks and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) – around 80% of the 200 billion tonne kilometres in 2022. This produced 20% of all the UK’s domestic transport greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2021.

In November 2021, the UK government committed to ending the sale of new non-zero emission HGVs weighing under or equal to 26 tonnes by 2035, with all new HGVs sold to be fully zero emission at the exhaust by 2040. The Future of Freight: a long-term plan confirmed the government would develop a plan for zero emission HGV infrastructure rollout.

The innovation

In October 2023, the government invested £200 million across four innovative green projects to roll out up to 370 zero emission HGVs and help set road freight on the path towards Net Zero.

Delivered in partnership with Innovate UK, the £200 million government investment from the zero emission HGV and infrastructure demonstrator programme will also deliver around 57 refuelling and electric charging sites, providing the crucial infrastructure to help the haulage sector decarbonise.

The eFREIGHT 2030 consortium brings together market leaders from the transportation and low carbon energy industries including Voltempo, Kuehne+Nagel (UK) Limited, Wincanton Group Limited, and Maritime Transport Limited.

The consortium will introduce 100 electric HGV 4×2 and 6×2 tractor units, and 32 new charging locations, all of which will have megawatt-charging capacity from day one.

The project is set to create up to 200 new jobs by 2030 and provide Birmingham with one of the UK’s first electric vehicle charging hubs dedicated to HGVs.

As a consortium partner, Energy Systems Catapult will ensure that the eFREIGHT 2030 trials can gather the evidence required to understand the challenges and opportunities, across stakeholders, and operations of electric HGVs in the real world. The Catapult will also provide detailed analysis and insight to support a commercially successful and rapid decarbonisation of the freight sector.

Findings from the project are already paying dividends. A report – Electric Heavy Goods Vehicles? Industry perspectives on the prospects for their adoption in the UK – commissioned by Voltempo and produced by Energy Systems Catapult explore the potential for the UK road freight sector to transition to Net Zero carbon dioxide emissions in its HGV operations.

The research consisted of semi-structured interviews with managers involved in sustainability strategy within organisations operating HGVs in the UK, and one interview with a manager from a major HGV manufacturer.

Read the report

Electric Heavy Goods Vehicles? Industry perspectives on the prospects for their adoption in the UK.

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