During a flurry of interest around electric vehicles, the Glasgow startup hopes to tap into the lucrative EV haulage industry.

Hydrogen-powered commercial vehicle firm Hydrogen Vehicle Systems (HVS) has plans for a new hydrogen-powered commercial vehicle.

HVS announced its 5.5-tonne technology demonstrator, developed from initial design to full dynamic prototype over 10 months, showcasing some of the technology that will power its planned heavy goods vehicle (HGV).

Founded in 2017, the Glasgow-based firm focuses on the ground-up design and development of zero-emission hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles.

The company comprises industry specialists, with experience in the automotive, energy, hydrogen technology, power electronics, sustainability, and environmental management fields.

With government targets to reduce sales of all non-zero emission 3.5 -26t HGVs set to come into effect by 2035 or earlier and all sales of new non-zero emission HGVs by 2040, HVS hopes to play a role in allowing emissions targets to be achieved.

In addition to funding from Innovate UK, Scottish Enterprise and 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.

HVS CEO Jawad Khursheed said: “This technology demonstrator showcases our ground-breaking hydrogen-electric commercial vehicle design and advanced powertrain technology, a precursor to our HGV model.

“Fuelled by close-coupled green hydrogen (hydrogen produced directly by renewable energy sources such as hydro, wind or solar) 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 easily integrated into key transport networks.

“What’s more, we will supply our customers with the most advanced HGV in the sector delivering a step change in driving experience, lowest total cost of ownership and market-leading fleet management support.”

HVS is currently undertaking development work at Horiba MIRA, Nuneaton, Warwickshire. HVS envisages that it will open an R&D, engineering, and pilot production facility in the Midlands, taking advantage of the region’s traditionally strong motor industry skills base, alongside a permanent UK-based production facility.

A workforce of circa 600 employees is envisaged across all key disciplines, the company said, with many recruits coming from the automotive and aerospace industries.

It’s likely that a further 10,000 workers will be involved in the UK supply chain, boosting the skills base.

Plans are in place for a left-hand drive variant of the hydrogen-fuelled 4×2 HGV tractor unit, with a rigid chassis model also in the pipeline.