Zero-emission electric vans are to be supplied to public-sector organisations in a £20 million Department for Transport scheme aimed at demonstrating the potential of new technologies.
Said transport minister Andrew Adonis: "Electric and lower carbon vans have the potential to significantly reduce emissions, so it is important that we test these new technologies in real-world conditions.
"This new programme enables the public sector to lead by example, and I am delighted to see that a number of emerging UK companies have been successful in securing these contracts."
The four firms involved - Ashwoods, Allied Vehicles, Smith Electric Vehicles and Modec - will initially supply the first 100 to 150 vans for use across the country later this year.
They will be monitored to assess their carbon-reduction, and if successful the trials may lead to further, bigger vehicle procurements.
Mr Adonis added: "Cars grab all the headlines, but van emissions have risen by 40% since 1990. This is something we need to address as part of our carbon reduction strategy for transport."
© Press Association 2009