Zero-emission, hydrogen-powered commercial vehicle innovator, Hydrogen Vehicle Systems (HVS), has received a £15 million grant from the UK Government’s Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) as part of a wider funding package to support zero emission transport.
HVS was awarded APC funding following a successful entry into its competition for developing automotive technologies and growing capability towards net zero. The Glasgow-based company is leading innovation in hydrogen mobility in the form of the UK’s first indigenous, clean-sheet, hydrogen fuel-cell HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle).
APC’s funding, which is aimed at supporting the UK’s long-term capabilities by securing long-term R&D investment in collaborative, pre-production research and development (R&D) projects, will support 50% of the project’s approximate £30 million (US$35.9m) total cost. The project, which will run between 1st September 2022, and 30th June 2025, comprises a consortium led by HVS and includes Grayson (Thermal Systems), Fusion Processing (vehicle vision systems) and PNDC (a commercial arm of Strathclyde University specialising in power electronics). The support and combination of this expertise will expedite the development of the full vehicle’s fuel cell and battery hybrid powertrain, covering engineering, testing and development.
Both HVS and other fuel cell projects funded by the APC will contribute to the ambition to decarbonise the automotive sector as described in the UK’s Hydrogen Strategy. Ian Constance, Chief Executive at the APC, said: “Supporting vital research and development in the UK, now more than ever, provides an opportunity to invest in transport decarbonisation as well as boost growth in the automotive sector.
“In this period of massive innovation and disruption, there is an opportunity for people to come through with new ideas. For that to work, you have to be out in front, keep very focused, build a great team, and have good support. That is all here at HVS. I think this will be another great UK innovation and manufacturing success story we are proud to be part of.”
“The £15 million of funding announced today furthers world-leading innovation in net-zero technology for the automotive sector and beyond. These fantastic projects are all collaborative by design, led by high-profile companies with innovative SME and academic partners, representing great UK industry.”
Announcing the APC funding, Business Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Our automotive industry is a world-leader, creating jobs whether in Essex, Somerset or Glasgow. Seizing the potential from new technologies will be a key part of its future success, while also making our roads cleaner, greener and more affordable.
“Today’s multi-million-pound boost – created by Government working hand-in-hand with industry – will put these firms in pole position to pioneer these innovations, staying at the cutting edge of the global race for decades to come.”
HVS CEO Jawad Khursheed said: “Our mission to decarbonise heavy-duty transport in the UK has reached a major milestone with the help of the APC grant. The UK Government performed rigorous due diligence in selecting HVS to receive this grant – acknowledging that our advanced technology is a key innovation towards achieving zero-emission targets.
“We have successfully produced our first driving fuel cell technology demonstrator vehicle and are on track to deliver the UK’s first-to-market hydrogen fuel cell-powered HGV. We have experienced rapid growth at HVS in as little as a year, now with this government support we will boost innovation, create thousands of UK-based jobs in the supply chain, and build upon our goal towards cleaner HGVs.”
Earlier in November, HVS revealed its game-changing hydrogen powertrain in the form of a 5.5- tonne technology demonstrator, previewing its planned 40-tonne zero-emission HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle), fulfilling the company’s objective of being the first indigenous UK designed and developed hydrogen-electric HGV on the market.
Founded in 2017, in Glasgow, HVS focuses on the ground-up design and development of zero emission hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles. The company comprises industry specialists, with vast experience in the automotive, energy, hydrogen technology, power electronics, sustainability and environmental management fields.
With government targets to curtail sales of all non-zero emission 3.5 -26t HGVs set to come into play by 2035 or earlier and all sales of new non-zero emission HGVs by 2040, HVS and its world-leading technology has the potential to play a crucial role in enabling emissions reduction targets to be achieved.
The company also has a defined route to market. In addition to funding from Innovate UK, Scottish Enterprise, Advanced Propulsion Centre and the Energy Technology Partnership, HVS’ strategic investment partner is the service station and grocery corporation, EG Group, offering hydrogen refuelling infrastructure, fleet customer base and the potential for global scalability.