Britain’s Department for Transport (DfT) says hybrid cars built in the Midlands region will soon be carried to Continental Europe via a DB Cargo locomotive, which runs on fuel made from used vegetable oil.

Rail freight operator, DB Cargo’s hydro-treated vegetable oil fuelled (HVO) locomotive can cut carbon emissions by up to 90% compared to diesel, maintains the DfT.

“We are boosting British business while cutting carbon,” said UK Rail Minister, Chris Heaton-Harris.

“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.”

DB Cargo is the largest rail freight operating company in the country and has been trialling and expanding its use of HVO as a way to reduce carbon emissions in the short term.

The new service using HVO will transport Toyotas built in Derby to Europe through the Channel Tunnel and import Toyotas on its return leg.

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“We are very excited at the prospect of working with Toyota to trial the use of HVO on its services to and from Europe,” added DB Cargo CEO, Andrea Rossi.

“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.

For his part, Toyota Motor Europe VP Supply Chain, Leon van der Merwe, added: “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.”