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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

From buses to bin lorries and trams - funding helps fuel ideas to tackle HDV emissions

Businesses across Scotland will receive a share of £720,000 to support the decarbonisation of heavy duty vehicles.

The Can Do Zero Emissions Heavy Duty Vehicles (HDV) challenge call was launched in July by Transport Scotland and Scottish Enterprise to help businesses develop innovative solutions to decarbonise transport and aid Scotland’s green recovery.

Successful projects include bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis, clean hydrogen technology innovators Logan Energy and Flexergy, to electric vehicle charging specialists such as Swarco and Boyd Brothers as well as energy technology innovators Energy Mutual. Ideas cover a range of projects from hydrogen forecourts, charging, battery innovation, as well as logistics and a project to charge vehicles using trams.

Head of Low Carbon Transition for Scottish Enterprise Andy McDonald said: “The zero emission heavy duty vehicles projects will provide support for businesses to innovate in this transport space whilst also helping meet net zero targets.

“I’m impressed by the range of projects, both from established companies and start-ups, setting out to solve key challenges for large vehicles from buses to bin lorries and all the technology in between addressing charging, batteries, logistics and storage.

“We really are on a route to net zero with these projects.”

Minister for Transport Graeme Dey said: “I’m really pleased that Transport Scotland is working in partnership with Scottish Enterprise to jointly provide up to £720,000 for the decarbonisation of heavy duty vehicles through their Can Do Innovation Challenge framework and competition.

“We’re absolutely committed to making travel in Scotland clean and green and supporting innovation. Further steps forward in technology to accelerate the roll out of zero emission heavy duty vehicles is an important part of that work.

“Partnership working like this is crucial if we are to achieve our world-leading climate goals and is key to pushing the international decarbonisation effort further and faster too.” The 15 projects are:

  • Stortera, an energy storage company, based in Edinburgh, will look at the feasibility of lithium-sulphur flow batteries.

  • Arcola Energy is targeting wholesale logistics to look at hydrogen powered solutions for large vehicles such as trucks for the food and drink logistics sector from its base at MSIP in Dundee.

  • SWARCO Charging Solutions, also based at MSIP in Dundee, will develop its fleet app and depot manger tools to be utilised more flexibly across UK-wide depots.

  • HVS, based in Glasgow, designs hydrogen electric vans and heavy goods vehicles. It plans to use hydrogen-electric technology in a range of vans and trucks to decarbonise the road haulage sector.

  • Logan Energy, in Edinburgh, has two projects: a hydrogen HGV forecourt and hydrogen HGV pre-cooling project to improve fuelling systems.

  • Glasgow engineering consultants, Industrial Systems and Control, will use the funding for the development of a modular energy optimisation design tool and energy management system that aims to improve battery electric and hydrogen powered vehicle performance.

  • Glasgow-based engineering firm Airtech Ventures will develop a novel air powered heavy duty ultra low carbon vehicle powertrain system that could be adapted for use in current vehicles or incorporated into future HDV design.

  • CleanTech start-up Flexergy is looking at a project to improve the cost and energy efficiency of hydrogen storage and distribution at scale.

  • Livingston based EV infrastructure firm Boyd Brothers is set to develop a Zero Emission Charging System to address the challenges for refuse collection vehicles operated by Local Authorities and other waste collection companies.

  • Energy Mutual based in Fort William will look at making use of the unused electrical power capacity on existing, private electrical networks that supply light rail transit systems such as Edinburgh Trams for a project called ‘Light Rail Integrated EV Charging Infrastructure.’

  • Alexander Dennis in Larbert is investing in the development of a lightweight fuel efficient single deck vehicle and will undertake a technical concept study to develop a Small Lightweight Single Deck Bus.

  • Glasgow-based spin-out Fluxart from Strathclyde is looking at innovative heat exchanger designs to enable high efficiency propulsion for zero emission heavy duty vehicles and aircraft using liquid hydrogen.

  • Orion Research based in Renfrewshire is to develop state-of-the-art electro-hydraulic architecture with improved efficiency, increasing operating time and productivity on a 5 Ton small excavator through its project ‘Improving Hydraulics for Zero-Emission Construction.’

  • Thurso-based battery innovator Amte Power will take forward a project around Li-ion pouch cells and is developing a modular design that can provide system voltage and capacity through its ScotHeavy project (Scotland-manufactured Heavy Duty Vehicle battery module.)

The Can Do innovation challenge call will support Scottish innovators to evaluate the feasibility of their concepts, detail designs and build the commercial case for ideas that will support Scotland’s net zero ambitions and the development of a low carbon economy.

The project links to work taking place by Scottish Enterprise across seven national programmes including Zero Emissions Heavy Duty Vehicles and also Transport Scotland’s Mission Zero for transport.

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