Greening transport by sea and land

The Government is investing £54 million for green land transport projects and £20m to develop innovative zero emission vessels and clean port infrastructure, launching a competition to develop innovations and drive economic growth.

The fund will be used to support the development of prototype vessels and port infrastructure that could then be rolled out widely – propelling the sector towards net-zero, as the UK prepares to host the COP26 climate change summit in November. Trials will enable companies to test the new technologies, with a view to them being developed commercially if proven to be successful, helping build back greener from the pandemic.

Maritime Minister Robert Courts said: “This is a turning point for the UK’s maritime sector. It’s an opportunity for businesses to develop the technologies of the future, not only protecting our environment but driving economic growth.”

The Maritime Minister confirmed the news ahead of the launch of two government-funded studies focused on achieving net-zero in both the recreational craft sector and offshore wind sectors.

Developed in partnership with the Carbon Trust, the new study on recreational craft, which will be published in late spring, will set out how we can overcome the barriers to the supply of, and demand for, zero-carbon recreational craft. It will make a series of recommendations to governments and industry, including using alternative fuels. Leisure boats and sports vessels are vital to the UK economy, worth almost £1.6bn in annual exports and employing 40,000 people across the UK.

The investment of £54 million will be for projects including motorsport technology in car motors, hydrogen fuel cells for buses, and lightweight structures for electric heavy goods vehicles.

Three projects will receive funding of funding: developing electric propulsion systems for heavy goods vehicles in Cwmbran, Wales, energy-saving technology from motorsport for use in cars and vans from a centre in Warwickshire and to manufacture low-cost hydrogen fuel cell technology for buses and create a hydrogen centre of excellence with Wrightbus in Ballymena, Northern Ireland.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “These projects will not only help accelerate the wider application of greener technology in lorries and buses, but will also help generate the high-skilled jobs to level up communities across the UK while ensuring we build back greener from the pandemic.”

The funding is being coordinated by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) which supports the development of low carbon emission technologies for cars, buses, heavy goods vehicles, and vans.

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