Supporting UK Composites

UK Hydrogen Supply Chain Capability and Opportunity Survey Launched


Arcola Energy and National Composites Centre (NCC) launch UK hydrogen supply chain capability and opportunity survey.

Arcola Energy, a UK developer of hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) electric powertrains, will lead a project funded by the Advanced Propulsion Centre’s Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF), which aims to build a strong UK supply chain to support the decarbonisation of heavy-duty vehicles - a segment that accounts for more than a quarter of the UK’s greenhouse emissions. The project will be supported by the NCC and strategy consultants E4Tech.

To support the identification of UK supply chain opportunities, the NCC and Arcola Energy are launching a UK hydrogen supply chain capability assessment through a series of surveys, with a view to develop a roadmap for future R&D and investment needs in this fast-growing segment. The final report will be available in April 2021 and will be shared with survey participants.

To take part in the survey, click here.

“The heavy-duty vehicle sector is a critical area that requires decarbonisation but is still in the early stages of development and deployment,” said Richard Kemp-Harper, Strategy Director, Arcola Energy. “Across the supply chain in this sector, there are specific technical requirements that present an innovation opportunity for UK suppliers to develop capability and enter this new market for zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles.”

The current UK market for heavy-duty vehicles (including trucks and buses) is approximately 40,000 per year, all of which are expected to switch to zero emissions in the next 15-20 years. Of this, fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) could take between 25% to 50% of the market segment.

As the UK's leading developer of FCEV powertrains, the survey will use Arcola Energy’s technology platform as a baseline for current and upcoming technology requirements. The team has identified a set of critical components within this platform; including large-scale on-board hydrogen storage, fuel cell systems, high power density battery systems, heavy-duty traction motors and integrated power electronics, which will form the basis of the surveys.

“We’re excited to be supporting Arcola Energy with this hugely important project and invite any company that could have a beneficial impact to take the survey,” added Ali Valiyff, Land Transport, NCC. “We’re aiming to not only identify the large number of innovative companies working across the supply chain whose products and technologies could help the UK fulfil its potential in this area, but also establish where further research and development is required to help the industry meet its zero-emissions targets.”

The NCC is a world-leading composite research and development facility based in the UK. Part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, the NCC will act as a gateway to the wider network throughout this project. The NCC team will help identify supply chain opportunities for UK companies and where research and innovation are necessary for the sector to meet its potential.

The report will also provide insights to the Advanced Propulsion Centre and Innovate UK on best-in-class technology targets and developments in the supply chain for future consideration. Respondents will be encouraged to propose additional opportunities in the supply chain for UK companies to supply key components and increase UK manufacturing content.

Alan Banks, UK Lightweight Innovations Manager at Ford, supports the project: “With the push for zero emission vehicles by 2030, the UK stands ideally placed to lead the world for hydrogen and electric vehicle development. This offers the opportunity for the whole of the UK industry, from OEMs right through the entire supply chain, to take advantage of ground-breaking technology and to dominate the sector. From hydrogen production, distribution, storage and usage, the UK have a unique opportunity to develop the next generation zero emission power requirements and bridge the gap between the short and long term needs of the country.

“This work will link the automotive, aerospace, rail, marine and domestic sectors together to help solve a common problem and make UK PLC a dominant global player. It will link the roadmaps from each sector and provide the infrastructure required to ensure that sustainability is profitable and can generate investment and jobs, providing opportunities for the composites industry amongst others to increase volume and efficiency.”



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