Stobart grabs slice of £200m net zero trucks fund

Logistics giant Stobart to share in £200m Government fund to roll out up to 370 ‘net zero emission’ lorries across the UK. Tony McDonough reports

A Stobart lorry. Image from Stobart


Logistics giant Stobart is to grab a slice of a £200m Government fund to roll out 370 ‘net zero emission’ lorries across the UK.

Heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) contribute 20% to all transport emissions across the UK. This fund will be invested across four projects. More than £2m also set to be given to small and medium-sized businesses in a separate competition.

One of those four is Project Zero Emission North (ZEN) Freight. This will demonstrate up to 70 battery electric and 30 hydrogen fuel HGVs. Stobart and Royal Mail are two of the operators participating in this scheme.

Delivered in partnership with Innovate UK, the £200m Government investment from the zero emission HGV and infrastructure demonstrator programme will also deliver around 57 refuelling and electric charging sites.

Funding will help major supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s and Marks and Spencer lower their transport emissions while protecting them from rising delivery costs associated with changing petrol and diesel prices. This could help prevent price hikes for consumers.

Roads Minister Richard Holden said:  “Freight and logistics are the beating heart of our economy and it is only right that we celebrate the sector so that it gets the recognition and support it deserves.

“From boosting zero emission tech across freight to attracting the future generation of talent to the industry, we are working hard to drive innovation, create jobs and grow the economy.”

With an annual turnover of more than £800m, Warrington-based Stobart is one of the biggest integrated logistics groups in the UK and has around 2,700 vehicles.

It operates the 3MG multi-modal terminal at Widnes, which is now part of the Liverpool City Region Freeport.

READ MORE: Developer plans 2.5m sq ft Merseyside logistics hub

Richard Smith, managing director of the Road Haulage Association, added: “The £200m commitment Ministers are putting into this demonstrator significantly helps to de-risk the transition to net zero.

“The real-world demonstrators will answer many of the practical questions operators have and, in turn, give our members the confidence to invest in the zero emission lorries needed to drive down carbon emissions from our sector.”

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