New funding helps drive HGV decarbonisation in UK

Innovate UK and Department for Transport delivered programme will enable 370 zero emission HGVs to hit the road.

Posted on: 08/11/2023

Department for Transport (DfT) has invested £200 million, through Innovate UK, to deliver 370 new zero emission HGVs through their Zero Emission Freight Competition. The vehicles will be supported by a network of 57 refuelling and infrastructure sites strategically positioned across a wide geographical area.

This will position the UK at the forefront of HGV decarbonisation and help scale British based businesses, within the four funded projects. For more details, read the government’s official press release.

HGVs emit 20% of all transport emissions per year and are typically seen as one of the harder to decarbonise transportation sectors, especially at the heavier end of the sector which encompasses 40-44 tonne trucks.

The zero emission HGV and infrastructure demonstrator programme will help enable an evidenced based approach to ensure the correct decisions regarding technology, infrastructure and supply chains are made in the coming years which will allow the industry to reach net zero faster and more efficiently. DfT are currently developing a zero emission HGV and coach infrastructure strategy for publication in 2024 and there is a consultation open until 14 December 2023.

Four projects, which are all demonstrating 40-44 tonne zero emission HGVs with either battery electric and/or hydrogen fuel cell powertrains along with the associated infrastructure to allow them to operate, are being funded. This will provide an initial spine of infrastructure that other operators can then utilise, to speed up the transition to zero emission HGVs at scale. By 2035 it will not be possible to purchase a new HGV below 26 tonnes which is not zero emission and by 2040 this will also apply to vehicles over 26 tonnes.

Find out more about the four projects below.

Project Electric Freightway

GRIDSERVE is leading a consortium supported by Hitachi ZeroCarbon, part of Hitachi Europe, to deliver electric heavy goods vehicles (eHGV) and dedicated eHGV charging infrastructure along the UK’s strategic road network. The project has been awarded £62.7 million in government funding.

Zero Emission Northern (ZEN) Freight

Zero Emission Northern Freight (ZENFreight) is a consortium of leading truck manufacturers, a renowned academic partner, committed freight operators and an international energy company, working together to accelerate the decarbonisation of HGVs. It plans to establish a network of seven sites, spanning a combination of hydrogen refuelling and electric charging technologies. The project has been awarded £54.6 million in government funding.

eFreight 2030

This project will demonstrate how battery-electric HGVs can replace conventional HGVs at scale, using British technology. The project uses next-generation HGVs from Renault Trucks, DAF and Scania, plus state-of-the-art British-designed 1MW charging technology from Voltempo. The project has been awarded £49.2 million in government funding.

Hydrogen aggregated UK logistics (HyHAUL) project

HyHAUL is powered by Protium and strategic partners and will deploy around 30 hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) HGVs along the M4. End user participants and observers of the project represent a diverse range of use cases, routes and vehicle requirements. The project has been awarded £31.8 million in government funding.

How Innovate UK KTN helped

Across the four projects there were several successful collaborations orchestrated by Innovate UK KTN that led to highly strategic connections being made between OEMs, infrastructure providers and end operators; this included the involvement of British SMEs entering this space.

You can reach out to our zero emission transport experts to understand more and to discuss your project or idea and how best to fund or progress your solutions.

You can see the latest funding opportunities here.

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Simon Buckley

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Simon Buckley

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