Hydrogen vehicle projects can help UK become net zero world leader

Hydrogen vehicle projects can help UK become net zero world leader

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) highlighted how truck manufacturers are already investing heavily to bring a range of models to market. Operators, however, need long-term certainty to make the necessary purchase investments and there is currently no single net zero technology to meet the needs of all HGV use cases.

As a result, the SMMT said it is crucial that the UK has a long-term, versatile plan to facilitate the shift. 

In particular, a clear plan for public recharging or refuelling infrastructure that is suited to HGV requirements would equip the sector with greater confidence. 

Haskel, the UK’s leading company for the manufacture of hydrogen refuelling stations, has reached a major milestone, shipping 12 systems in 2022, doubling the amount delivered in 2021.

This comes in response to the fast-growing demand for hydrogen refuelling stations globally and around the UK.

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According to H2 Mobility, there are 161 hydrogen refuelling stations across Europe, with a further 46 currently being implemented. 

Of these, seven are located in the UK – three around London, one in Birmingham, one in Sheffield and two near Aberdeen.

The majority of refuelling stations are found in central Europe, including Germany, Denmark, Belgium and Switzerland.

Despite this, there are only six stations in France, two in Italy and none in Spain, although there are plans to add five more (two in France and Spain and one in Italy).

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There may also be plans for another five stations in the UK. Two would be facilities for buses, in Crawley and Liverpool. The other three would be open to use for drivers, located in Tees Valley, Belfast and Glasgow.

It is hoped that Haskel’s new partnership with Ingersoll Rand will be able to increase output to more than 30 stations per year by 2024, an amount unrivalled in the UK hydrogen refuelling station market.

Stewart Anderson, APAC Hydrogen Business Development Manager at Haskel, said: “Amid debate about how to grow the use of hydrogen in the UK to reach net zero, I’m mindful of how countries such as Australia and New Zealand are taking giant leaps in this arena. 

“Driven by clear Government strategy, which in turn has unlocked investment in infrastructure, there’s a roadmap to building a network of hydrogen refuelling stations capable of removing emissions from transport. 

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Haskel has taken significant steps recently to boost on-site capabilities at the company’s Sunderland hub, doubling the number of stations being tested in 2022.  

This year they plan to rapidly scale operations, targeting an increase in capacity that will result in Haskel testing as many as 12 stations in 2024, an increase of 200 percent compared to 2022 levels.

David Muckle, General Manager at Haskel Europe Ltd said: “The ability to quickly adapt to growing international demand follows substantial investment in Haskel’s test site in recent years. Since 2017 we have invested close to £2million in both expanding operational capacity and upgrading equipment. 

“Our 1,500 square metre site, capable of testing four 40ft refuelling stations at a time, has been developed with a central purpose in mind, to help fuel the decarbonisation of global transport fleets, and put Sunderland on the map as a hub for hydrogen innovation.”

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Author: Shirley