Major boost for £30m Glasgow project to bring hydrogen-powered HGVs to UK roads

A Glasgow-based venture looking to bring hydrogen-powered heavy goods vehicles to Britain’s roads has received a £15 million boost in a “milestone” moment for the ambitious project.

Hydrogen Vehicle Systems (HVS) has secured the grant from the UK government’s Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) as part of a wider funding package to support zero emission transport. It was awarded the funding following a successful entry into a competition for developing automotive technologies and growing capability towards net zero. APC’s funding will support 50 per cent of the project’s estimated £30m total cost.

The project, planned to run until June 2025, comprises a consortium led by Glasgow-based HVS and includes Grayson (thermal systems), Fusion Processing (vehicle vision systems) and PNDC (a commercial arm of Strathclyde University specialising in power electronics). Together they will develop the vehicle’s fuel cell and battery hybrid powertrain – covering engineering, testing and development aspects.

Founded in 2017, HVS focuses on the ground-up design and development of zero-emission hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles, including heavy goods vehicles (HGVs). The company has a team of industry specialists with “vast experience” in the automotive, energy, hydrogen technology, power electronics, sustainability and environmental management fields. Last month, the firm revealed its “game-changing” hydrogen powertrain in the form of a 5.5-tonne technology demonstrator, previewing its planned 40-tonne zero-emission HGV.

HVS chief executive Jawad Khursheed said: “Our mission to decarbonise heavy-duty transport in the UK has reached a major milestone with the help of the APC grant. The UK government performed rigorous due diligence in selecting HVS to receive this grant – acknowledging that our advanced technology is a key innovation towards achieving zero-emission targets.

“We have successfully produced our first driving fuel cell technology demonstrator vehicle and are on track to deliver the UK’s first-to-market hydrogen fuel cell-powered HGV. We have experienced rapid growth at HVS in as little as a year, now with this government support we will boost innovation, create thousands of UK-based jobs in the supply chain, and build upon our goal towards cleaner HGVs.”

In addition to funding from Innovate UK, Scottish Enterprise, Advanced Propulsion Centre and the Energy Technology Partnership, HVS’ strategic investment partner is the service station and retail giant EG Group, offering hydrogen refuelling infrastructure, fleet customer base and the potential for global scalability.

Ian Constance, chief executive at the APC, said: “Supporting vital research and development in the UK, now more than ever, provides an opportunity to invest in transport decarbonisation as well as boost growth in the automotive sector. In this period of massive innovation and disruption, there is an opportunity for people to come through with new ideas. For that to work, you have to be out in front, keep very focused, build a great team, and have good support. That is all here at HVS.

HVS recently revealed its ‘game-changing’ hydrogen powertrain in the form of a 5.5-tonne technology demonstrator, previewing its planned 40-tonne zero-emission HGV.

“I think this will be another great UK innovation and manufacturing success story we are proud to be part of. The £15m of funding furthers world-leading innovation in net-zero technology for the automotive sector and beyond. These fantastic projects are all collaborative by design, led by high-profile companies with innovative SME [small and medium-sized enterprise] and academic partners, representing great UK industry.”

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