Recently the UK Government’s Department for Transport (DfT) and Innovate UK have awarded a project which plans to have 30 hydrogen fuel cell heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) on UK roads by 2026.
The Hydrogen Aggregated UK Logistics (HyHaul) project is being led by Protium and the plan for the project consist of bringing together green hydrogen production, hydrogen logistics, refuelling and infrastructure and fuel cell HGVs in order to begin operating the vehicles along a main road from London to South Wales. The consortium partners who will be involved with the first phase include ReFuels’ CNG, Scania, NRG Riverside and Reynolds Logistics. The trucks involved in the project will be provided by multiple OEMs, EV Cargo and FSEW.
The funding for the project has been awarded to this particular project, as it aligns with the UK Government’s plan to have up to 370 zero-emission vehicles operating across the country as soon as possible. Furthermore, this project was made possible through the recent breakthrough earlier this year, when Protium’s Pioneer One project in South Wales found a way to produce hydrogen and then went on to being able to refuel buses within the region that this current project will be operating in.
The CEO of Protium, Chris Jackson, hopes to be able to provide operational data around the performance of the first trucks to the vehicle OEMs and fleet operators. He also hopes to show the potential for green hydrogen within the UK sector. Jackson commented, “Our project provides a commercially viable solution to lower the emissions of long-distance haulage, a notoriously hard-to-abate area of the sector. It also marks a significant milestone in Protium’s ambitious target to reduce the UK’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by one million tonnes yearly by 2030.”
After the announcement outlining the plan for the project was made, the other companies involved voiced their support for the project.
The Managing Director of FSEW, Geoff Tomlinson, said, “Our primary goal is to achieve operational Net Zero across our fleet by the end of 2024. We’re already 50% there with a mix of electric and compressed natural gas trucks. The addition of these hydrogen trucks is a real game changer for us and the industry.”
Richard Holden, the Roads Minister, said, “Freight and logistics are the beating heart of our economy, and it is only right that we celebrate the sector so that it gets the recognition and support it deserves. From boosting zero emission tech across freight to attracting the future generation of talent to the industry, we are working hard to drive innovation, create jobs and grow the economy by building a brighter, more innovative future for one of our most crucial industries.”
The next steps for this project, will be to increase the number of trucks to 300 by 2030, which will all be the same, weighing a maximum of 44 tons and with haulage operators.