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UK cars to be exported on train fuelled by used vegetable oil




Hybrid cars built in the UK will soon be exported to continental Europe via a train running on greener fuel made from used vegetable oil, the Department for Transport has announced (Department for Transport/PA)

Hybrid cars built in the UK will soon be exported to continental Europe on a train running on fuel made from used vegetable oil, the Department for Transport has announced.

Rail freight operator DB Cargo’s train, named I’m A Climate Hero, can cut carbon emissions by up to 90% compared with diesel locomotives, according to the department.

It is fuelled by hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO).

The train will export hundreds of Toyota cars built in Derbyshire every week through the Channel Tunnel.

On its return leg, it will import more Toyotas.

The DfT believes the train highlights the vital role rail freight can play in cutting carbon emissions in the transport sector, as part of the UK’s plan to reach net zero by 2050.

Rail minister Chris Heaton-Harris, who unveiled the locomotive at the DB Cargo depot in Toton, Nottinghamshire, said: “We are boosting British business whilst cutting carbon. This is what building back greener is all about.

“Trains are one of the most eco-friendly ways to transport goods and, through ingenuity and innovation, DB Cargo are leading the way in making it even greener.”

HVO is one of the world’s purest and greenest fuels and has an important role to play in helping DB Cargo UK and its rail customers decarbonise their operations
Andrea Rossi

DB Cargo chief executive Andrea Rossi said: “We are very excited at the prospect of working with Toyota to trial the use of HVO on its services to and from Europe.

“HVO is one of the world’s purest and greenest fuels and has an important role to play in helping DB Cargo UK and its rail customers decarbonise their operations.

“This will be the first time we have used HVO on an automotive service and one bound for the continent. It’s a first on many levels for us.”

Leon van der Merwe, vice president for the supply chain at Toyota Motor Europe, said: “As a company we are dedicated to making continuous progress towards carbon neutrality, and this includes seeking ways to reduce emissions from manufacturing, vehicle use and logistics.

“By utilising this new rail freight multi-modal opportunity, we are helping to ensure our low emission hybrid electric vehicles built at our British Burnaston plant can be transported to our customers in an increasingly sustainable way.”


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