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Removing carbon-emitting HGVs by 2040 welcomed by Costain


10 November 2021


Costain welcomes today’s commitment by the Department for Transport that all new heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) must emit zero emissions by 2040.

As lead partner in the Electric Roads Consortium (ERC), Costain will be responsible for integrating the various technologies that are needed to bring this programme together to deliver a decarbonised road freight network to the UK.

On behalf of the Electric Roads Consortium, Professor David Cebon from the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight commented, “It’s great to see Government’s continued commitment to taking diesel HGVs off our roads in order to hit the net zero target. The key question now is which solutions will be best suited to fill the gap left by diesel HGVs? These solutions will have to be near zero carbon, low cost, able to satisfy all the complex operational needs of the logistics industry and implementable across the UK by 2040.”

Electric roads have great potential to reduce road freight emissions from the largest HGVs in the quickest, and most cost-effective way. They have the advantage of using proven technologies that can be scaled to a national level quickly, within years, not decades.

The Electric Roads Consortium’s proposed demonstrator project will benefit from lessons learned in the successful field trials in Sweden and Germany. The UK study will show how the wider logistics system – with its transport hubs, ports, airports, distribution centres and depots – will function with electric lorries. The demonstration project is focusing on a 20km stretch of the M180 in the east of England near Scunthorpe, linking Immingham Port with the logistics hubs of Doncaster.

The scheme is expected to cost approximately £100m in construction and will be delivered by a collaboration between ten organisations, all bringing their individual areas of expertise in sustainable transport.

Professor Cebon said, “Deploying electric roads in the UK is very attractive as the technology is proven. It can be implemented at scale, sooner, making it the most feasible way to steer UK road freight to a net zero future. We’re looking forward to making our contribution to a greener future for road freight in the UK.”



About the Electric Road Consortium

The consortium comprises Costain, Siemens Mobility, Scania, the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight, Ove Arup, Milne Research, Possible, SPL Powerlines, Box Energi and Clarke Infrastructure Planning.

Costain is a world-leading smart infrastructure solutions company who is responsible for integrating the various technologies that are needed to bring this programme together.

Scania is working with partners to develop vehicles for use on electric road systems, with the aim of demonstrating that they are not only viable but attractive, cost-effective alternatives to fossil fuel-based vehicles for its customers

Siemens Mobility’s eHighways technology is used in the roadside infrastructure, learning lessons from its expertise in rail. It has been successfully trialled in both Sweden and Germany.

The Centre for Sustainable Road Freight is a joint venture between Cambridge University and Heriot-Watt University. Their joint research into overhead catenary power has demonstrated that it can provide the lowest cost, lowest carbon, and most rapidly deployable solution to decarbonise long-haul road freight in the UK.

Possible is an environmental charity that is leading engagement and consents with environmental stakeholders to ensure that the programme considers and resolves their concerns.

Arup is an international design and technical consultancy, who is leading our environmental consents activity.

SPL Powerlines is an expert in overhead line engineering, installation, and maintenance, bringing its considerable experience from rail into this programme.

Box Energi is examining business models and static charging solutions using its expertise as a renewable energy and electric vehicle charge point developers.

MRL is focusing on developing an innovation infrastructure around the project

CiPlanning is looking at delivering consents for the programme, with significant experience on nationally significant projects.