Greater Government support should be given to the development of hydrogen powered trucks, according to the H2Accelerate collaboration, which includes BP, Iveco, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo.
The latest in a series of whitepapers from the group examines the existing UK policy framework for zero-emission trucks and proposes changes that would enable the roll-out of a large-scale hydrogen trucking sector.
The group says the recent publication of the UK Zero-Emission Road Freight Demonstrator (ZERFD) shows that the UK government is willing to support the early-stage deployment of zero emissions trucks.
However, it argues that longer-term support will be needed to provide vehicle manufacturers with the certainty to invest in right-hand drive vehicles and fuel suppliers with the confidence to develop a nation-wide network of hydrogen refuelling stations.
Oliver Bishop, global head of hydrogen mobility at BP, said:
We are exploring opportunities to kick-start a UK hydrogen mobility offer to our truck customers. However, to make further investments that will enable the large-scale deployment of heavy-duty hydrogen vehicles across the UK, we need sustained supporting policies from the UK Government.
The paper outlines a series of recommendations which include setting out a minimum level of alternative refuelling network coverage, with large-scale hydrogen refuelling stations located every 200km on major networks by 2030 and a more comprehensive network by 2035, comprising 250 refuelling stations with a total capacity of 500 tonnes of hydrogen per day.
It also wants to strengthen and broaden the scope of the plug-in truck grant to allow all available zero-emission HGVs to be assessed and cover 80% of the difference in cost between diesel and hydrogen fuelled trucks for the first 1,000 trucks.
Furthermore, it is calling for exemptions for zero-emission trucks from levies, tolls, and taxes while the sector scales up.
Hannah Bryson-Jones, spokeswoman for the H2Accelerate collaboration, said:
The UK Government has the opportunity to unlock large-scale investment in long haul zero emissions freight. Ambitious targets have been set regarding the complete ban on diesel trucks, but these can only be achieved if the sector is supported in scale-up starting today.