Hybrid HGVs could plug the gap to zero emissions02 September 2019

Hybrid vehicles could prove successful in bridging the gap to zero-emission HGVs, according to a report from the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI).

The report, ‘HGVs and their role in a future energy system’, looks the decarbonisation options for HGVs as part of the wider energy system to help the UK reach an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and then to go beyond, towards net zero.

HGVs account for around 4% of total UK carbon emissions and this could rise to 15% by 2050, it says. Electrification of the HGV fleet is the best way to address this in the long term, but challenges posed by fleet duty cycles and costs mean an interim solution will be needed from 2025 to 2040.

The report also says that the largest constraint on HGV electrification will be the availability of suitable vehicle platform solutions, rather than the energy system infrastructure.

The gas-electric hybrids would mostly use hydrogen fuel cells, but the report notes that this would require large volumes of cheap, clean hydrogen – meaning carbon capture and storage technologies are all the more important.

Jonathan Wills, CEO of ETI, says: “The HGV sector is a difficult area to decarbonise and the share of UK carbon emissions from HGVs is set to rise by 2050 if no action is taken.

“Through this research we have identified plug-in hybrid HGVs as a viable next step if overall energy system transition costs are to be minimised.”

He adds: “Changing the purchasing behaviour of fleet operators will also be really important to help investment in new technologies.”

To download a copy of the report, click the link below.

Laura Cork

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