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Connected Places Catapult asks Frazer-Nash to examine safety of potential electric road systems

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Connected Places Catapult has asked Frazer-Nash to examine the safety standards and regulations that would need to be satisfied to trial electric road systems technologies for powering HGVs.

Connected Places Catapult  – the UK’s innovation accelerator for cities, transport and place leadership – has asked Frazer-Nash to examine the safety standards and regulations that would need to be satisfied in order to trial the use of electric road systems (ERS) technologies for powering Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs).

The Catapult’s Zero Emission Road Freight Trials (ZERFT) Phase 1 project, is part of a bigger programme of work being undertaken by the UK government, exploring the potential for zero emission operation of long haul HGVs on UK roads, which would enable the replacement of greenhouse gas emitting diesel-fuelled lorries.

In partnership with not-for-profit research and technical advisory organisation, Cenex, Frazer-Nash will be assessing the safety standards and regulatory landscape of the road network, with a particular focus on HGVs. They will deliver a report that identifies the potential hazards faced by different ERS concepts and their possible mitigations. They will also provide a roadmap that details the activities required to achieve the essential safety requirements that will be identified during the project.

Tim Myall, Senior Business Manager at Frazer-Nash Consultancy, said:

“There is significant interest in the role that ERS technology could play in decarbonising long-haul road freight in the UK. Environmentally, in 2019 road freight was responsible for 16 per cent of all traffic-related greenhouse gas emissions in the UK.

“Our experts, who have extensive experience across safety-related activities for critical national infrastructure, including rail electrification, will be helping Connected Places Catapult and its stakeholders gain an understanding of what needs to be done in order to assure a safe ERS HGV trial. We’ll be identifying what obstacles need to be overcome, which safety standards and vehicle approval processes must be met, and producing a roadmap detailing next steps towards trials of these zero-emission systems. This is a truly exciting piece of work for the future of Highways at Frazer-Nash as we apply our expertise in operational safety and systems thinking to an evolving sector”.

Alan Nettleton, ZERFT Phase 1 Project Technical Lead of the Connected Places Catapult said:

“ZERFT Phase 1 is a vital step towards the large-scale commercialisation of decarbonised freight technologies, as announced in the Government’s recent Net Zero Strategy. Safety is a crucial consideration in determining whether a large-scale trial of electric road systems is to be implemented in the UK, which is why it is important to independently and systematically ensure safety risks are identified and discussed at an early stage. We are delighted to be working with Frazer Nash and Cenex, who we know have the right expertise and experience to investigate this area.”

Richard Sander, Technical Consultant at Cenex said:

“Cenex are proud to be involved in this project, and to offer the benefit of our knowledge and expertise in power infrastructure technologies for low emission transport, contributing to the development of solutions for a key strategic element of the UK’s pathway to a net zero future.”

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