Start with biomethane, finish with hydrogen
All the HGVs in our own operational fleet are powered by renewable biomethane. By using this fuel, we expect to avoid more than 5,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year.
We're developing our fleet of operational vehicles to support greener fuels such as compressed natural gas (CNG) and electricity. In our North London network, we plan to make every one of the 1,100 vans used by our emergency engineers zero emission by 2026. As a start, we have recently introduced hydrogen powered cars and electric vans both of which are zero emission.
Supporting a gas refuelling infrastructure
We are proud partners of CNG Fuels, and are supporting them to connect more and more CNG refuelling stations to the gas grid, so fleet operators can benefit from the carbon reductions of using gas to power heavy transport. We supported the development of the Warrington refuelling station, Europe's largest refuelling station for low carbon biomethane in trucks.
We believe that in order to transition successfully to using hydrogen, we need first to convert lorry fleets to bio-CNG. Bio-CNG is 40% cheaper than diesel, has 84% less emissions than old diesel engines and provides better air quality. Conversion to bio CNG is relatively simple and means we start reducing emissions straightaway. That gives the UK time to build its hydrogen production capacity so that in a few years time we can convert one more time to hydrogen and make heavy transport 100% carbon free.
This journey began when we invested in CNG Fuels' development of the first commercial high-pressure CNG refuelling station, connected to our high-pressure local transmission system at Leyland, Lancashire.
Watch our video to find out more:
Networked Hydrogen makes decarbonised transport possible
There are several projects looking at using hydrogen for industry – investing in hydrogen production facilities to help decarbonise industry (another big emitter of CO2). The gas network would make this hydrogen available to a series of industrial customers across areas such as the North West. That’s what our project HyNet is about. Once you have a regional network of hydrogen for industry, you can easily attach refuelling stations for lorries running with hydrogen fuel cells so you get additional benefits from investing in hydrogen for industry.
Leading the way with Research
In 2019 our HyMotion report demonstrated how network delivered hydrogen would be the most cost effective fuel for heavy transport. In 2020 we are working with the National Physical Laboratory, and associated research partners, on understanding the challenge of managing the purity of hydrogen supplied to Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles using the UK’s gas network. If we can achieve this, we can unlock a zero carbon future for HGVs which will run on hydrogen fuel cells instead of diesel. Initial findings are very positive and we hope to scale up this research with additional funding.