TRANSPORT News Release (151) issued by The Government News Network
on 7 November 2007
van fleets could be a reality on our roads, thanks to a new
Department for Transport fund outlined by Transport Minister Jim
The programme, which will be worth an initial £20million, will
procure lower carbon vehicle models for use in public sector
fleets - thereby using the public sector's purchasing power
to kickstart the market for lower carbon vans.
Should initial trials be successful, an additional £30million has
been earmarked to be used to develop the programme further.
Jim Fitzpatrick said:
"Bringing cleaner, greener vehicles onto the market as soon
as possible is a priority for the Government, but we want to
direct our efforts where they will have the biggest impact in
reducing emissions and tackling climate change.
"Vans account for around 15% of carbon emissions from road
transport, but currently there are no mass market low carbon
models on offer to the UK van buyer - although the technology to
create them exists. By using the public sector's considerable
purchasing power, we aim to give investors and manufacturers
confidence in the existence of a market for lower carbon vans, to
encourage them to bring them to market more quickly than they
would do otherwise. This could have a big impact in cutting carbon
emissions on our roads."
The DfT will shortly issue a competitive tender to appoint a
partner organisation with specialist technical and commercial
expertise on low carbon vehicles to deliver the programme. The
appointment is expected to be made in early 2008.
Notes to Editors
1. The £20million was initially proposed as part of the Low
Carbon Transport Innovation Strategy, to speed up the development
of low carbon vehicles for the UK market using public sector
2. Since the proposal, the Department has engaged with
stakeholders to find out how best to direct the money for greatest
environmental impact. The bulk of the funding will be used to
procure lower carbon vans in the first instance, with smaller
demonstrations of lower carbon minibuses, all-electric vans and,
potentially, plug-in hybrid cars.
3. Initial public sector participants are expected to include the
Metropolitan police, Environment Agency, Transport for London, the
Royal Mail, HM Revenue and Customs and the Government Car and
Despatch Agency. All these organisations have significant vehicle
fleets, suitable for fleet demonstration.
4. The aim is for initial procurements of lower carbon vehicles
under the programme to lead to subsequent orders in future,
helping to stimulate full market introduction of lower carbon options.
5. Subject to funding availability, we will seek to involve a
larger number of public sector organisations in the programme.
This could include local authorities, other government bodies, and
possibly wider public sector organisations such as schools and hospitals.
Public Enquiries: 020 7944 8300
Department for Transport