September 23, 2022

Fleet fuel demand calculated for UK’s first hydrogen transport hub

Government funding of £3m will launch the UK’s first hydrogen transport hub in the Tees Valley with an expected demand of up to 13,000kg of green hydrogen per day to operate transport in the region as part of a five-year trial starting in 2025. Independent research by Cenex and Ballard Motive Solutions calculated that fleets in the region would already meet a third of that demand.

Cenex analyzed fleet data from seven local operators to assess potential opportunities for testing and deploying hydrogen vehicles in the Tees Valley region. A total of 920 vehicles were assessed, including 495 light commercial vehicles (LCVs) and 425 heavy commercial vehicles (HCVs), representing approximately 0.6% of LCVs and 12% of heavy goods vehicles in the region.

Replacing these vehicles with fuel cell electric vehicles would generate an average daily hydrogen demand of 3,600 kg. This equates to 29% of the 12,500 kg of projected demand for the hydrogen transport hub by 2030. Demand mapping of vehicle locations showed that 2,280 kg (63%) of the potential demand for hydrogen are within a four mile radius centered around the port of Middlebrough; this area covers key locations in four of the seven fleets evaluated and Cenex recommends it as a good candidate location for hydrogen fueling stations to support further operational testing in several applications.

Further analysis of the report “Preparing for Fuel Cell Vehicle Rollout: Trials, Analysis and Deployment Planning for Hydrogen Fleets” highlights the long-term advantages of hydrogen vehicles over battery electric vehicles in certain applications, particularly in terms of autonomy. Cenex has found that fuel cell electric vehicles provide additional operational flexibility for the vehicles evaluated by offering an additional maximum range of 65 to 265 miles compared to battery-powered equivalents.

The report also states that fuel cell electric vehicles could achieve fuel cost parity with diesel vehicles at around £5.80/kg (a 42% reduction from current levels).

Carl Christie, Senior Fleet Specialist at Cenex, said:

“The Tees Valley Hydrogen Hub is a fantastic opportunity for the region to lead the transition to fuel cell powered heavy duty vehicles, particularly for high mileage 44t tractors and 26t refuse collection vehicles with needs. higher energies.

For the hub to be a success, fleet operators need suitable fuel cell vehicles to demonstrate that they are fit for purpose, which also needs to be supported by providing access to an on-line refueling infrastructure. hydrogen at key locations powered by low-cost green hydrogen produced from renewable energy. .

Cenex advocates using the right zero-emission vehicle technology for the right application, so it’s important that fuel cell vehicles are tested and deployed where they offer maximum operational or practical benefits. This will reduce emissions from some of the dirtiest vehicles. »

Fleet operators tested Ballard Motive Solutions’ Renault Kangoo ZE H2 small vans between November 2021 and March 2022 to gain hands-on experience of operating and refueling them under real-world conditions. Overall, fleet operators were positive about the trial and wanted to test more applicable vehicles, although few had any immediate plans to introduce hydrogen vehicles.

The research was carried out as part of the Tees Valley Hydrogen Transport Hub Demonstration Competition funded by the Department for Transport and carried out in partnership with Innovate UK. The Tees Valley Hydrogen Transport Center is expected to be fully operational by 2025 for a five-year trial and will provide the production, storage and distribution facilities for green hydrogen (produced from renewable electricity) to a network of hydrogen refueling stations supporting operational trials in the Tees Valley region.