The government has launched a new £120mn scheme to support local transport authorities in introducing zero emission buses.
On 30 March, Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, announced that the funding will be made available through the zero-emission-buses regional area (ZEBRA) scheme, delivering up to 500 zero emission buses. It will allow local transport authorities to bid for funding to purchase zero emission buses and reduce the carbon emissions from their local public transport, while improving air quality in towns and cities across England. Bidders have until 21 May 2021 to submit expressions of interest for a fast-track process, enabling local transport authorities with well developed proposals to move quicker in securing funding, while those in need of more time to develop proposals have until 25 June 2021 to submit expressions of interest.
The government also announced over £30mn in funding to support research into battery technology, the electric vehicle supply chain and hydrogen vehicles. This includes 22 studies receiving a share of £9.4mn, as well as the Faraday Institution committing £22.6mn to continue its work to further improve the safety, reliability and sustainability of batteries.
Haydale Composite Solutions is among those to receive backing for its project looking into hydrogen storage for vehicles. It is seeking to assess the suitability of its lightweight, low permeability storage tank which could potentially be used to unlock the pathway to hydrogen propulsion. Storing hydrogen calls for high-strength durable containers for safe operation in vehicles.