UK Clean Air Fund supports retrofitting of vans and taxis to Autogas

The UK’s new Clean Air Fund aims at supporting local authorities, individuals and businesses affected by local nitrogen dioxide plans. It includes some measures such as support for upgrading to new vehicles (including ultra low emission vehicles).

There is £220 million of funding available through the Clean Air Fund over the period of 2018/2021. The goal is to prioritise approaches that achieve compliance with legal limits in the shortest possible time whilst minimising the impact on those living and working in and around the area.

According to the Fund, van drivers, which includes sole traders and small businesses, could be impacted by local air quality measures in particular as the cost of upgrading to a compliant vehicle can be prohibitively expensive and options are restricted. Potential measures could include: support for conversion to Autogas, support for upgrade to electric vehicles; or local upgrade schemes.

Regarding local authorities, potential measures could include extra support to help taxi drivers adapt their vehicles to LPG with local conversion schemes.

As an example, the government’s document features a case study on the Birmingham City Council hackney carriage (traditional black cab) LPG retrofit project. In 2014, the government awarded Birmingham City Council £500,000 from the Clean Vehicle Technology Fund to re-power and convert LTI TX1 and TX2 diesel hackney carriages to Autogas to reduce nitrogen dioxide emissions in areas of highest pollution.

Between October 2014 and June 2016, a technical solution was developed whereby emission reduction achievement was proven and a local garage trained to perform the conversions. The solution involved replacing the existing diesel engine with a petrol engine

(spark-ignition engine) converted to run on LPG. By May 2017, the project was complete having locally converted a total of 65 highly polluting LTI TX1 (Euro 2) and LTI TX2 (Euro 3) hackney cabs with very high driver satisfaction. Tests indicated that the converted cabs overachieved the minimum emission standards in the Clean Air Zone Framework for England.

For more information, please check this link.

28 March 2018