The UK is gearing up for a green revolution in its heavy goods vehicle (HGV) sector with the launch of the HyHAUL project, an ambitious undertaking led by Protium, the country’s largest green hydrogen energy company. This groundbreaking initiative, backed by more than £30 million from the Department for Transport and Innovate UK, aims to accelerate the decarbonization of the UK’s HGV fleet, a sector responsible for 19% of domestic transport emissions.
The urgency to reduce emissions from long-haul trucking has never been more critical. The HyHAUL project is specifically designed to address the most challenging emissions in the HGV sector, focusing on the UK’s heaviest and most polluting HGVs, with a mission to deploy zero-emissions HGVs weighing up to 44 tonnes.
Protium’s project takes a comprehensive approach, offering not just advanced HGVs but also an extensive network of refueling stations, ensuring the viability of green hydrogen-powered truck operations along designated routes. Hydrogen will be sourced from various green hydrogen projects across South Wales, including Protium’s own “Pioneer 2” project and others.
The HyHAUL project is more than just an endeavor to replace diesel-fueled vehicles with hydrogen-powered ones. It’s a collaborative effort that brings together key players along the hydrogen HGV value chain. Partners include ReFuels’ CNG Fuels, Scania, NRG Riverside, and Reynolds Logistics. The initiative also involves multiple original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and established hauliers such as EV Cargo and FSEW, all joining hands to accelerate the transition to green hydrogen in the HGV sector.
HyHAUL goes beyond deploying green hydrogen HGVs; it will provide essential operational data to vehicle OEMs and fleet operators. By collecting performance data on these first-generation fuel cell electric trucks, HyHAUL aims to break down barriers to wider adoption across the industry. This data will not only guide future advancements but also stimulate increased demand for green hydrogen, contributing to the broader hydrogen economy in the UK.
Protium’s CEO, Chris Jackson, emphasized the transformative potential of the HyHAUL project. It showcases the viability of green hydrogen in the transportation sector, which is one of the leading contributors to emissions in the UK. This initiative aligns with Protium’s ambitious goal of reducing the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions by one million tonnes annually by 2030.
For Geoff Tomlinson, Managing Director at FSEW, the HyHAUL project represents a game-changer for the road freight industry. Hydrogen fuel cell technology is seen as the future of heavy goods transport, offering a green, sustainable alternative for road freight operators working towards net-zero emissions. It complements FSEW’s broader ambition to achieve operational net zero across its fleet by the end of 2024.
The UK government has thrown its weight behind the HyHAUL project as part of its broader commitment to transitioning to net-zero emissions. Decarbonization Minister Jesse Norman announced significant investments, including £200 million to roll out 370 zero-emission trucks and £2.4 million to pioneer green tech through the Freight Innovation Fund. These investments are integral to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and will be crucial in creating new jobs and growing the economy.