Hy4Fleets: the path to decarbonisation of heavy transportation with hydrogen

While battery electric vehicles (BEVs) have emerged as the likely low carbon option for light passenger transport, the path to decarbonising heavy duty vehicles (HDVs) remains challenging. In the UK, the transport sector is the largest greenhouse gases emitting sector, accounting for 27% of total emissions. The UK’s 2050 Net Zero target will not be reached without a significant reduction in emission from the HDV segment.

The ongoing reduction in low carbon hydrogen production costs coupled with the growth in hydrogen vehicle model types and utilisation, presents an opportunity for hydrogen to be deployed at scale as the alternative zero emissions fuel to decarbonise HDVs. However, the gap in technical and economic insights on the hydrogen switching process presents a barrier to the uptake of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCEVs) by fleet operators.

EDF R&D UK Centre secured funding from Innovate UK for the Hy4Fleets project. Led by the EDF R&D UK with the contribution from EIFER (EDF’s research centre in Germany) and support from Hynamics (EDF’s hydrogen subsidiary), Hy4Fleets aimed to develop an assessment tool to support decision-making and encourage the transition of diesel-powered heavy goods vehicles to hydrogen FCEVs.

Hy4Fleets successfully delivered the development of an interactive web-based assessment tool to evaluate the operational, environmental and economic performance of hydrogen FCEV fleets in real world settings. Curating data from across the hydrogen supply chain and hydrogen vehicle markets under a single platform, the tool is designed to present fleet operators with a detailed and tailored strategy for the decarbonisation of their HDV fleets.

The first use case for the tool was based on fleet profile data collected at the Hinkley Point C construction site. Leveraging this data to establish a standardised methodology, this use case was subsequently adapted to support the low-carbon construction strategy at Sizewell C. 

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