Image: Arcola

The Scottish Hydrogen Fuel Cell Freight Trial (SHyFT), led by Arcola Energy, has been awarded funding by the Department for Transport’s Zero Emission Road Freight initiative to develop a trial of hydrogen fuel cell trucks in Scotland, complemented by a green hydrogen refueling infrastructure.

The project will assess the potential for zero-emission fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) with key fleet operators intending to decarbonize operations in emission-sensitive sectors such as utilities, forestry, and wholesale food and beverage logistics – including cold chain. Among the project’s participants are NewCold, which will conduct a comprehensive assessment of cold chain logistics, The Scottish Wholesale Association, St Andrews University, BOC, and Scottish Power. SHyFT will also test on long-distance routes, utilizing Scotland’s green hydrogen supply and developing refueling infrastructure.

“The key objective of the project is to identify early adopters in heavy-duty freight sectors with a strong drive to decarbonise operations,” said Richard Kemp-Harper, Strategy Director, Arcola Energy. “By understanding their use cases, we can specify vehicle and infrastructure requirements for what they need now with a view to expanding capacity and capabilities in other sectors and vehicle types over time.”

Arcola will model and incorporate these needs for early adopter vehicles into a trial concept design and vehicle development program. According to the study’s findings, a future trial may contain a test fleet of 20-30 trucks and three existing refuellers, with the possibility of adding additional installations throughout the trial. Additionally, the project will include a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) analysis to assist operators in determining the project’s viability.

“NewCold’s appointment as a partner in the SHyFT project aligns strongly with our energy management and sustainability strategy to reduce the environmental impact of our operations and contributes toward the wider mitigation against climate change,” said NewCold Head of Energy Management Mark Oldridge. “NewCold is working hard to continuously improve our environmental credentials and become early-adopters of the latest technology within our operations. Playing a role in hydrogen technology development is an important part of that commitment.”

Arcola is the vehicle OEM that will integrate the company’s scalable fuel cell powertrain platform into a “glider” chassis as the key partner. Scottish Power and BOC will contribute expertise to the trial regarding green hydrogen production, supply, and refueling.

With the assistance of Arup, the Hydrogen Accelerator at the University of St Andrews will coordinate the feasibility study.

Nedim Husomanovic

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