SWA, Arcola Energy to deploy more hydrogen-powered trucks in Scotland

The Scottish Wholesale Association and Arcola Energy have joined forces to deploy more hydrogen fuel cell trucks in Scotland to support the UK’s transition to zero-emission road freight. Dubbed the Scottish Hydrogen Fuel Cell Freight Trial (SHyFT), the project has already secured funding from the Department of Transport’s Zero Emission Road Freight programme, and will see each deployed hydrogen-powered truck utilise Scotland’s withstanding hydrogen station network. As well as utilising existing infrastructure, the partnership will also look to develop innovative solutions to support the uptake of future zero-emission vehicles.

It is believed the activities carried out under the partnership will help to develop cost-effective, zero-emission heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and supporting refuelling infrastructure in the UK. On the plans, Richard Kemp-Harper, Strategy Director at Arcola Energy, said, “The key objective of the project is to identify early adopters in heavy-duty freight sectors with a strong drive to decarbonise operations. “By understanding their use cases, we can specify vehicle and infrastructure requirements for what they need now with a view to expanding capacity and capabilities in other sectors and vehicle types over time.”

As the lead partner, Arcola is the vehicle OEM integrating a scalable fuel cell powertrain platform into a “glider” chassis. Scottish Power and BOC will provide insight into green hydrogen production, supply and refuelling for the trial. Based on the outcome of the study, a future trial could involve a test fleet of 20-30 trucks, using three existing refuellers and adding new installations during the trial.

The project will also include a total cost of ownership (TCO) analysis to help operators evaluate sustainability.

Colin Smith, Chief Executive of the Scottish Wholesale Association, added, “We are now in phase two of our own Decarbonisation of the Wholesale Industry Project designed to help members and the wider wholesale sector become greener and more sustainable.

“With ambitious plans to decarbonise the wholesale food supply chain and achieve net-zero emissions by 2045, if not before, we are currently finalising the results of Phase 1 ready for presenting our sector’s fleet make-up and carbon footprint – the outcomes of which have already generated the interest of technology developers such as Arcola Energy and Scottish Power.”