Arcola to Lead Hydrogen Road Freight Study in Scotland

Study is a collaboration with freight operators to identify the business case for fuel cell technology in the UK's transition to zero-emission road freight

August 17, 2021 – The Scottish Hydrogen Fuel Cell Freight Trial (SHyFT), led by Arcola Energy, has secured funding from the Department for Transport’s Zero Emission Road Freight programme for the design of a trial of hydrogen fuel cell trucks – supported by a green hydrogen refuelling infrastructure in Scotland.

The project will asses the opportunity for zero-emission fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) with key fright operators who are looking to decarbonise operations in emission sensitive sectors such as utilities, forestry, wholesale food and drink logistics – including cold chain. The project partners include NewCold, who will provide a deep-dive study on cold chain logistics, The Scottish Wholesale Association as well as St Andrews University, BOC and Scottish Power. SHyFT will also make use of Scotland's green hydrogen supply and expanding refuelling infrastructure by incorporating long-distance routes in its testing. 

“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 integrate these early adopter vehicle requirements into a trial concept design and vehicle development programme. Based on the outcome of the study, a future trial could involve a test fleet of 20-30 trucks, using three existing refuellers with the potential to add new installations during the trial. The project will also include a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) analysis to help operators evaluate sustainability. 

“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.”

As the lead partner, Arcola is the vehicle OEM integrating the company’s scalable fuel cell powertrain platform into a “glider” chassis. Scottish Power and BOC will provide insight into green hydrogen production, supply and refuelling for the trial.   

The Hydrogen Accelerator at the University of St Andrews will coordinate the feasibility study with the support of Arup. 


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