CNG Fuels announced plans to host hydrogen fuel trials across its rapidly expanding UK network of public access biomethane refueling stations to support the future decarbonization of HGVs. A new branch of the company, HyFuels, has been established to identify the best hydrogen production pathways and infrastructure solutions for HGVs so it can support customers in adopting hydrogen quickly and easily when it becomes commercially viable.
The first trials are due to begin in mid-2022, with the company currently in discussions with international partners and undertaking feasibility studies across its upcoming development sites. By 2025, the company plans to allocate 100 acres of its land to public access hydrogen refueling.
“HGVs alone account for 5% of all UK emissions, making their decarbonization one of the single most important things the UK can do to meet our net zero ambitions. Renewable biomethane is and will continue to be the most effective decarbonization solution for heavy transport for many years. However, we have launched HyFuels to ensure we are ready to support our customers’ journey to a multi-fuel future as new technologies become commercially viable and the fuel readily available,” said Philip Fjeld, CEO of CNG Fuels.
Mid-weight trucks (<26 tons) will be among the first to be commercially viable for new technologies such as hydrogen. The trials carried out by HyFuels will be particularly important for haulers that operate <26 ton trucks, helping them to navigate challenging decarbonization targets proposed by government, including a potential ban on diesel engines by 2035.
CNG Fuels already supports major fleets with 100% renewable biomethane across its UK-wide refueling network. It currently operates seven public access bio-CNG stations and plans to open at least 12 more every year from 2022. The company plans to have 60 stations in operation by 2026.
However, in future, other low carbon technologies will start to become more prevalent as technology develops and costs fall. The Committee on Climate Change expects hydrogen-powered HGVs to play a major role in decarbonizing freight transport from 2030 onwards and the government’s Net Zero Strategy, includes a policy to expand trials for zero emissions HGV technologies.
HyFuels is already in advanced discussions with major international providers of both hydrogen infrastructure and the fuel to deploy their first trials. Among the first initiatives will be a number of hydrogen-ready mobile refueling units that are able to quickly deliver hydrogen to refueling sites on demand.
Findings from the trials will be used to inform government, industry, and existing customers on the effectiveness of different hydrogen solutions and outline key infrastructure considerations for a hydrogen refueling network. The company is also planning to incorporate the findings into a wider business strategy, with a complete roadmap for companies to switch fleets from diesel to net zero fuels.
Baden Gowrie-Smith, CFO of CNG Fuels and head of hydrogen development for HyFuels added: “We build our sites with our customers’ future needs in mind, acquiring additional space so we can expand as demand grows. This means up to 30% of our future land will be perfectly placed to deploy multi-fuel trials on some of the busiest haulage routes in the UK. As soon as these technologies are viable, we will be ready to support our customers in adopting the latest and greatest in low carbon technology. With increasingly aspirational decarbonization targets set by government, our role is to support fleets in their journey to net zero, making it as simple and affordable as possible.”
Source: CNG Fuels