Scottish start-up promises hydrogen truck shake-up

Hydrogen Vehicle Systems (HVS) shares its roadmap for hydrogen-powered HGVs. By Megan Lampinen

The pressure is on to clean up heavy goods vehicles (HGVs). More than 40 members of the Climate Group’s EV100 coalition recently signed an open letter to the European Commission, urging a ban on the sale of new trucks that are not zero emission, starting in 2035. The UK has pledge to phase out the sale of non-zero emission HGVs 3.5 -26 tonnes by that date, followed by heavier models by 2040. One Glasgow-based company is positioning to provide the sort of clean technology needed to realise these targets.

HVS (Hydrogen Vehicle Systems) has designed a fully working zero-emission technology demonstrator as a precursor to a full-sized hydrogen-electric HGV to be launched early in 2023. Unveiled in November 2022, the 5.5-tonne tech demonstrator previews the anticipated 40-tonne articulated tractor unit. This vehicle category is one of the most polluting on the roads; while it only accounts for 1.5% of road traffic it contributes 20% of transport CO2 emissions. Replacing these models with a zero-emission solution could make a big environmental impact. If all goes to plan, HVS’s models would become the first UK-designed and -developed hydrogen-electric HGV on the market.

“Diesel occupies about 96% of the HGV market, with zero-emission alternatives not being introduced fast enough to meet upcoming 2040 target,” says Peter Clarke, Chief Operating Officer and Head of Design for HVS’s upcoming model. “The whole purpose of the business is to tackle that gap in the market.”

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