- ‘HGVs and their role in a future energy system’ insight sets out a holistic view of how the UK can decarbonise the Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) sector in the context of the wider energy system.
- Zero CO2 emission vehicles are likely to be required from 2030 to meet current targets
- Plug-in hybrid vehicles could act as a bridging vehicle from 2025 to 2040 to help smooth the transition to fully zero emission options.
- Fleet operator purchasing behaviour will need to adapt to achieve decarbonisation of the UK energy system.
Bridging the gap to zero emission HGVs may require hybrid vehicles – says the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) in its new report released today.
‘HGVs and their role in a future energy system’, aims to address the decarbonisation options for HGVs as part of the wider energy system to help the UK reach an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and then to go beyond towards net zero.
HGVs account for around 4% of total UK carbon emissions and in some scenarios, this could rise to a 15% share by 2050. Electrification of the HGV fleet is the most promising long-term solution, but the fleet duty cycle and cost/packaging requirements pose challenges for existing technologies. Gas-electric plug-in hybrid vehicles could act as a bridging solution from 2025 to 2040 whilst fully zero CO2 tailpipe emissions options are developed.
The use of hydrogen as an energy vector, either in zero emission platform solutions, or in plug-in hybrids, will require the supply of large volumes of cheap, clean hydrogen. This reinforces the need to deploy Carbon Capture Use and Storage (CCUS) technologies.
Rather than the ability of the energy system infrastructure to generate and distribute electricity, the report suggests that it is likely to be the availability of suitable vehicle platform solutions which will be the largest constraint on the electrification of HGVs.
The research also shows that an effective carbon price across the energy system would enable a transition to low and zero emission HGVs.
There is a cost associated with decarbonisation of the energy system, and in the absence of a carbon price, other ways to counter the naturally risk averse nature of fleet purchasers will also need to be found if the uptake of new technologies is to accelerate.
All deliverables from this research are now available on the ETI’s Knowledge Zone, continuing its commitment to the acceleration of decarbonisation in HGVs, even after its closure later this year.