Glasgow-based Hydrogen Vehicle Systems (HVS) has unveiled a new “game-changing” 40-tonne HGV that it claims is set to disrupt the haulage industry.

The company claims the HGV has the capacity to travel up to 600km (370 miles) depending on road conditions and driving style. It underlines HVS’s ambitions to be the UK’s first designed and developed hydrogen-electric HGV on the market.

The only emission from the vehicle is water vapour, with no greenhouse gas emissions of any kind.

With UK government targets curtailing the sales of all non-zero emission 3.5-26 tonne HGVs by 2035, HVS says it has the potential to play a “crucial role” in achieving emissions reduction targets.

According to HVS’ sales projections, by 2030 the new UK fleet of hydrogen HGVs displacing diesel vehicles could prevent more CO2 and noxious air emissions than the reported annual emissions at Heathrow Airport.

Jawad Khursheed, CEO of HVS said: “We are delighted to reveal our 40-tonne HGV at the Commercial Vehicle Show. This technology demonstrator showcases our ground-breaking hydrogen-electric commercial vehicle design and advanced powertrain technology. Our zero-emission trucks are a key part of decarbonising the logistics sector. Hydrogen is the perfect fuel for the haulage industry, offering long ranges and quick refuelling thanks to stations being easily integrated into existing key transport networks.”

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HVS’ HGV tractor units will be built on an all-new chassis, designed in-house around the hydrogen powertrain which consists of pressured hydrogen cylinders, fuel cells, an energy storage system, and an electrified rear axle.

The fuel cells permit longer range, higher load-carrying capacity and faster refuelling than would be possible using battery-electric technology alone.

The typical refuelling time for hydrogen-powered vehicles is around 20 minutes. It is in the long-distance HGV segment that hydrogen fuel cells offer the most advantage.  

HVS’ strategic investor, EG Group, enables route-to-market through fleet operator connections and infrastructure development via their international refuelling site network.

HVS says other variants of the hydrogen-fuelled 4×2 tractor unit, including a left-hand drive variant, are being developed.