A North East technology firm has been selected as part of a £20 million project to trial new methods of cutting vehicle emissions and improving air quality.

Avid Technology, based in Cramlington, 10 miles north of Newcastle, is one of 20 consortia selected by the Government to participate in the project.

The freight industry accounts for around one third of the UK’s transport carbon dioxide emissions and Avid has won a contract to work on a programme which aims to increase the number of electric vans and lorries running as hybrids or on hydrogen dual-fuel.

The project will be delivered by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles and Innovate UK.

Transport Minister John Hayes said: “This project will help cut vehicle emissions, improve air quality and reduce pollution in towns and cities.

“This is yet another important step towards this Government’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions from transport to help tackle climate change.

“We are already making headway through our investment in low emission vehicles, greener public transport and walking and cycling, as well as grants for innovative advanced biofuels projects.”

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Ryan Maughan, founder and managing director of Avid Technology, said: “Climate change, urban air quality and the rising cost of energy are major issues of our time.

“The energy consumption and exhaust emissions of heavy duty vehicles are a major contributor to these issues, despite being essential to everyday life.

“Over the past 11 years, we have developed the skills and know-how which gives us a unique position in the market place, leading to our involvement in this prestigious project.

“Our mission is to help our customers improve the efficiency and emissions of their vehicles and machinery through the design and manufacture of electrified ancillary systems for heavy duty and high performance vehicles.”

Avid is working with Magnomatics to implement its Magsplit hybrid system – which is claimed to have the potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by one million tonnes per annum by 2025 – into two 18-tonne trucks which are part of Calor’s delivery fleet.

Avid will seek to enable the vehicles to run in electric mode with zero emission capability during the year-long trial.

An International Advanced Manufacturing Park in nearby Sunderland could create 5,200 jobs after it was announced as part of £556m of investment in the North's industrial future.

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