New hydrogen electric truck from Tevva

UK’s first mass-produced hydrogen truck unveiled

Image credit: PA Media

Startup firm Tevva has added a hydrogen fuel cell system to its battery-electric HGV design, launching the first hydrogen and electric-powered lorry to be mass-produced in the UK.

Truckmaker Tevva has launched the first hydrogen fuel cell-supported heavy goods vehicle (HGV) to be manufactured, designed and mass-produced in the UK.

The hydrogen fuel cell system has been integrated into the firm’s battery-electric HGV design, enabling the hydrogen to top up the battery in order for the truck to carry heavier loads over longer distances. As a result, the 7.5-tonne hydrogen-electric truck can be driven for up to 310 miles, according to Tevva.

“When a zero-emission truck is doing more miles per day, that is very good for the air we breathe, for the planet and for the economics of running electric trucks,” said Tevva’s CEO and founder Asher Bennett.

“Every mile you drive on an electric truck, it’s so much cheaper than driving on a diesel truck.”

New hydrogen electric truck from Tevva

New hydrogen electric truck / Tevva

Image credit: Tevva

Hydrogen has been used safely in buses and other vehicles in more than twenty countries for many years, and many consider it the solution to the decarbonisation challenge the transport sector currently faces. 

Although hydrogen is currently more expensive and harder to obtain than electricity, it has a higher energy density than lithium-ion batteries or even diesel, a characteristic that makes it particularly attractive for use in larger, commercial vehicles.

In 2019, for example, HGVs contributed 18 per cent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector, according to UK government figures.

By adding a hydrogen fuel cell system to its battery-electric HGV design, Tevva is reportedly able to enable zero-emission transport solutions for the majority of fleet operators.

In its truck design, the hydrogen acts as a range extender, rather than the primary source of power. Instead, the new lorry’s “main fuel” will continue to be its electric-powered battery which is recharged overnight, according to the company. However, the addition of a hydrogen supply will “remove the concern” that the battery could run out of power.

Engineer working on new hydrogen truck

Engineer working on new hydrogen truck / Tevva

Image credit: Tevva

Tevva is offering “affordable” hydrogen supplies to customers, according to Bennet, that provide similar refuelling times as those of diesel truck refuelling (5-20 minutes), while also “future-proofing” the transport industry. 

“Hydrogen fuel cells and other zero-emission technology will be vital in helping us decarbonise transport,” said Transport Minister Trudy Harrison.

“A thriving UK hydrogen industry could not only help us meet our climate change obligations but also support thousands of jobs across the country in years to come.”

From 2040, the sale of new diesel-powered lorries will be banned in the UK, as part of the country’s efforts to reach net-zero for carbon emissions by 2050, prompting carmakers to come up with new net-zero solutions that will meet the needs of fleet operations and support the country’s vital supply chains.

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