The Scottish Hydrogen Fuel Cell Freight Trial (SHyFT), led by Arcola Energy, has secured funding from the Department for Transport’s Zero Emission Road Freight program for the design of a trial of hydrogen fuel cell trucks, supported by a green hydrogen refueling infrastructure in Scotland.
The project will asses the opportunity for zero-emission fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) with key freight operators who are looking to decarbonize operations in emission sensitive sectors such as utilities, forestry, wholesale food and drink logistics, including cold chain.
The project partners include NewCold, which will provide a deep-dive study on cold chain logistics; The Scottish Wholesale Association; St Andrews University; BOC; and Scottish Power. SHyFT will also make use of Scotland’s green hydrogen supply and expanding refuelling infrastructure by incorporating long-distance routes in its testing.
The key objective of the project is to identify early adopters in heavy-duty freight sectors with a strong drive to decarbonize 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.—Richard Kemp-Harper, Strategy Director, Arcola Energy
Arcola will model and integrate these early adopter vehicle requirements into a trial concept design and vehicle development program. Based on the outcome of the study, a future trial could involve a test fleet of 20-30 trucks, using three existing refuelers with the potential to add new installations during the trial. The project will also include a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) analysis to help operators evaluate sustainability.
As the lead partner, Arcola is the vehicle OEM integrating the company’s scalable fuel cell powertrain platform into a “glider” chassis. Scottish Power and BOC will provide insight into green hydrogen production, supply and refueling for the trial.
Arcola’s proprietary A-Drive technology platform is a production-ready hydrogen fuel cell powertrain platform that can be adapted and scaled to different heavy-duty vehicles and fleets, reducing both cost and development time.
The A-Drive platform integrates and optimizes the performance of all the systems in a fuel cell powertrain: fuel cell, battery, hydrogen storage, power electronics, thermal management, motor and brakes. Each component can be sized and specified for a particular vehicle, and to deliver the performance requirements of the application.
In operation, the A-Drive control systems manage all components to ensure safety and to maximise efficiency, reliability and durability. The platform also communicates the data required by drivers and fleet managers to keep vehicles running and costs down.
The Hydrogen Accelerator at the University of St Andrews will coordinate the feasibility study with the support of Arup.