A complementary approach involves hydrogen internal combustion engines which could provide cost-effective heavy duty vehicles with near zero tailpipe emissions of toxic or greenhouse gases in the next five years.
Dr Atkins said: “Roll out of hydrogen-powered engines in the UK could bring forward the use of hydrogen powered trucks, driving the rapid decarbonisation that is so vital to mitigate climate change. Development and manufacturing of these engines in the UK would also build on our strong engine supply chain, safeguarding highly-skilled jobs across the country.”
Funding for Dr Atkins' report was provided by Research England Strategic Priorities Fund and the Advanced Propulsion Centre, who work with industry and government to fund and influence the development of net-zero automotive innovation in the UK.
Philippa Oldham, Stakeholder Engagement Director at the APC, said: “There is definitely a role for hydrogen in net-zero emission road transport, providing potential solutions to typically difficult to decarbonise vehicles such as heavy duty, long distance and off-highway plant machinery used in construction or agriculture.
The UK already has a strong supply chain to build on and is well positioned to capitalise and lead on further developing hydrogen products for use in transport. We currently fund several projects looking at different hydrogen applications including fuel cells and combustion engines. We welcome this report, particularly the recommendation for further analysis of the technology impacts and continued investment in research and development.”