The Anonymous Widower

Toyota And VDL Groep To Convert Heavy-Duty Vehicles Into Hydrogen Fuel Cell Trucks

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Hydrogen Fuel News.

This is the first paragraph.

Toyota Motor Europe (TME) and Dutch VDL Groep have teamed up to covert VDL’s existing heavy-duty trucks into hydrogen fuel cell trucks using Toyota’s fuel cell modules, with a goal to accelerate decarbonizing the road logistics sector while also breaking into Europe’s zero-emission heavy duty H2 trucks market.


  1. According to their Wikipedia entry, VDL Groep seem to manufacture buses, coaches, chassis modules and vehicle components.
  2. In Ricardo Supports Toyota To Develop Its First UK-Based Hydrogen Light Commercial Vehicle, I wrote about conversion of the Toyota Hilux to hydrogen.
  3. There are a large number of companies all over the world, who will convert vehicles to hydrogen.
  4. It could be argued that Wrightbus and Alexander Dennis, have designed hydrogen buses, that could be conversions of existing designs.
  5. Cummins are selling diesel engines, that can be converted to hydrogen.

Could these points indicate, that one of the main routes to the decarbonisation of the heavier end of the commercial vehicle sector will be conversion of existing vehicles to hydrogen fuel?

And will this lead to smaller conversion kits to decarbonise vehicles like Land Rovers, Range Rovers, larger BMWs, Jaguars and Mercedes?

If you consider, that when I was growing up in the 1950s, you rarely saw a small diesel vehicle and how diesel came to grab a large market share, due to good engineering and some misguided tax changes from Gordon Brown, I don’t think it is unreasonable to believe that good engineering and perhaps well-thought out tax changes could create an affordable route to decarbonise a large proportion of vehicles.

If I was still driving and lived away from dreaded ULEZs, then I would be keeping my reliable diesel Jaguar estate.

May 16, 2023 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Further Thoughts On BP’s Successful INTOG Bid

I have been searching the web and I feel BP’s successful INTOG bid may be different.

In 13 Offshore Wind Projects Selected In World’s First Innovation And Targeted Oil & Gas Leasing Round, I decided that BP’s bid, which only was for 50 MW of offshore wind would generate hydrogen and send it to shore through the Forties Pipeline System, which is owned by INEOS.

My reasons for feeling that it would generate hydrogen were as follows.

  • In the wider picture of wind in the North Sea, BP’s proposed 50 MW wind farm is a miniscule one. SSE Renewables’s Dogger Bank wind farm is over a hundred times as large.
  • A cable to the shore and substation for just one 50 MW wind farm would surely be expensive.
  • BP Alternative Energy Investments are also developing a 2.9 GW wind farm some sixty miles to the South.
  • It would probably be bad financial planning to put large and small wind farms so close together.

I still believe for these and other reasons, that there is no reason to believe that the proposed 50 MW wind farm is a traditional wind farm and most likely it will be paired with an appropriately-sized electrolyser producing around twenty tonnes of hydrogen per day.

But instead of being sent ashore by using the Forties Pipeline System, could this hydrogen be sent directly to the coast near Aberdeen, in its own personal hydrogen pipeline?

  • Using a variety of maps, I have estimated the distance at only around twenty miles.
  • With all the experience from BP and their suppliers, there must be a solution for a relatively short hydrogen pipeline.

I also found this scientific paper on ScienceDirect, which is entitled Dedicated Large-Scale Floating Offshore Wind To Hydrogen: Assessing Design Variables In Proposed Typologies, which talks about three different layouts.

  • Centralised Onshore Electrolysis
  • Decentralised Offshore Electrolysis
  • Centralised Offshore Electrolysis

All would appear to be feasible.

There is a lot of information in the scientific paper and it leads me to the conclusion, that hydrogen could be generated offshore and transferred by pipeline to storage on the shore.

The paper shows a design for a submarine hydrogen pipeline and schematics of how to design a system.

I believe that BP’s proposed system could deliver around twenty tonnes of hydrogen per day to the shore.

The system could be as simple as this.

  • A few large floating wind turbines would be positioned offshore, perhaps twenty miles from shore.
  • Perhaps 5 x 10 MW, 4 x 12 MW turbines or 3 x 16 MW could be used. Deciding would be one of those calculations, that combines accountancy, data, engineering and finance, which are great fun.
  • The offshore distance would be carefully chosen, so that complaints about seeing them from the shore would be minimised.
  • The generated electricity would be collected at a floating electrolyser, where hydrogen would be created.
  • The hydrogen would be pumped to the shore.
  • The floating electrolyser could also contain hydrogen storage.

I think there is large scope for innovation.

  • I can imagine drones and helicopters delivering equipment and personnel to service the electrolyser.
  • Underwater hydrogen storage could be developed.
  • A standard system could be developed for rolling out anywhere.
  • It could be placed in the sea, by a steelworks or other large hydrogen user.

In its own right the concept would develop new markets, which is one of the wind farm’s aims.

Could This Be The Route To Create Affordable Hydrogen For All?

BP would be failing their customers, employees and shareholders, if they weren’t developing a zero-carbon alternative to diesel and petrol.

Offshore hydrogen electrolysers strategically placed along the coastline, could provide a reliable hydrogen supply to a that sizeable proportion of the world’s population, who live near to the coast.

Could The Technology Be Adapted To Motorway And Large Service Stations?

This document on the UK Government web site, gives the mileage statistics of lorries (HGVs) and has this sub-heading.

In 2019 lorries travelled 17.4 billion vehicle miles, remaining broadly stable (increasing slightly by 0.3%) compared with 2018.

It breaks this figure down, by the class of road.

  • Motorways – 8.0 – 46 %
  • A Roads – 6.3 – 36 %
  • Rural Minor Roads – 0.9 – 5 %
  • Urban A Roads – 1.5 – 9 %
  • Urban Minor Roads – 0.7 – 4 %

Note that 82 % of HGV mileage is on Motorways or A roads. Anybody, who has ever driven a truck bigger than a Ford Transit over a distance of upwards of fifty miles, knows that trucks and vans regularly need to be fuelled up on the road. And that applies to the drivers too, who also by law must take a break, away from the cab.

Charging an electric truck could be a lengthy business and would require service stations to be connected directly to the nation grid and be fitted with a substantial number of heavy duty chargers.

One thing, that would be difficult with an electric truck, would be a Splash-and-Dash, if a truck was nearing the destination  and needed a small amount of charging to meet delivery schedules.

Because of the distances involved, the driving rules, the often tight schedules and the fast filling, I am convinced that there will be a large proportion of hydrogen-powered trucks and vans on the road and these will need a network of service stations where hydrogen is available.

Look at these overhead view of South Mimms Services, where the M25 and the A1(M) cross to the North of London.


I would envisage that at least four 10 MW wind turbines, which have a rotor diameter of around 160-190 metres could be dotted around and inside the site including inside the roundabout.

  • The electrolyser would be slightly smaller than that which would be used at Aberdeen.
  • Perhaps fifteen tons per day of hydrogen could be generated.
  • No hydrogen needed on the site would ever be brought in by truck.
  • Wind-generated electricity could also power the hotels, restaurants and the service station.
  • As the percentage of vehicles running on fossil fuels decreased, the air quality in the area of the service station, should increase.
  • How many people, who lived locally would switch to a hydrogen-powered runabout and fill it up perhaps once a week, when they passed?

Much of the technology needed to add a hydrogen option to a typical large service station has already been developed and some would also be needed to build BP’s 50 MW offshore wind farm with an electrolyser.





March 26, 2023 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hydrogen Truck Can Make Garbage Day A Much Quieter Event

The title of this post in the same as that of this article on Hydrogen Fuel News.

This is the first paragraph.

Hyzon Motors has announced that it will be rolling out a 27-ton Australian-made hydrogen truck to be used for vehicle towing as well as potentially for garbage collection this year.

Less noise, less pollution\2 What more can you want?

In London, we something rather important, a hydrogen policy, rather than a Mayor, who hopes the problem will fade away.

The writer of this article finds it interesting, that Hyson, who are an American company are making the trucks in Australia.

They say this.

Hyzon opened an Australian location three years ago in order to benefit from the substantial industry talent that became available there when Ford, Toyota and Holden closed their local operations. As the country also places a considerable focus on H2 production, it has opened several doors for moving forward with various types of hydrogen truck design.

So vehicle manufacturers beware! If you close an operation in a country, you may find competitors starting up!

March 12, 2023 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel, World | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Construction Has Started On The Silvertown Tunnel

These pictures show that construction has started on the Silverton Tunnel.

Note that New Civil Engineer is reporting that tunnelling has started.

My Current Thoughts On The Silvertown Tunnel

In 2015, I wrote No To Silvertown Tunnel, which I started with these two paragraphs.

My personal feelings about the Silvertown Tunnel are that it is irrelevant to me, except that it might help some trucks bring goods that I buy online or at a local shop. Although as a sixty-eight year-old-widower living alone, I don’t think my transport needs through the tunnel will be high.

I don’t drive after my stroke and I like that lifestyle, except when last night it took me three trains, a coach and a taxi to get back from watching football at Ipswich. But that tortuous late night journey was caused because NuLabor spent my tax money on pointless wars that will haunt us for generations, rather than in extending and renewing our rail system, that will nurture and enrich our future.

But my objections to the Silvertown Tunnel have changed and expanded.

New Transport Infrastructure Attracts Passengers

This may seem obvious, but there has been several cases recently in London to prove my point.

  • The London Overground has been a success beyond Transport for London’s wildest dreams and as an example the North London Line, that started with three x three-car trains per hour (tph) is now running eight x five-car tph. This is a four time increase in capacity.
  • New buses and contactless ticketing have encouraged more passengers to use the buses.
  • Electrification and new trains has transformed the Gospel Oak to Barking Line.
  • The expansion of Thameslink and new trains now carries a lot more North-South traffic through London.
  • Every time, a new section of the Elizabeth Line opens more passengers are attracted to the new line.
  • The remodelling of London Bridge station has increased passenger numbers. And shoppers!

On a personal note, I live on a bus corridor, that runs between North London and Moorgate for the Lizzie Line. Since the Lizzie Line has been fully connected, passenger numbers have risen by a big margin.

I don’t believe that the ability to attract more traffic of the Silvertown Tunnel will be any different.

More Traffic Means More Congestion And Pollution

I live close to the Balls Pond Road, which increasingly seems to be a truck route across North London.

The Silvertown Tunnel will be two lanes each way; one for trucks and buses, and one for smaller vehicles.

I can’t see that pollution and congestion around the Silvertown Tunnel and on the routes to the tunnel, will not increase.

There Is Little Or No Provision For Cyclists And Pedestrians

This will be a big problem. Especially, as the local traffic in the area will increase dramatically.

Does Central London Have Enough Parking For The Increased Traffic?

Parking in Central London is probably close to capacity now!

So What Would I Do?

Given that construction has already started, I feel it is too late to cancel.

Better Alternatives Than Driving

I feel measures should be adopted that provide better alternatives than driving.

Obviously, this won’t help with trucks, but it could reduce the total number of vehicles going through the tunnel.

These could include.

  • Increase the frequency of trains on both the Lizzie Line and Thameslink.
  • Increase the number of destinations on both the Lizzie Line and Thameslink.
  • Add an extra car to Lizzie Line trains.
  • Remove First Class on the shorter eight-car Thameslink trains.
  • Add provision on some Lizzie Line and Thameslink routes for bicycles.
  • Add a Silvertown station to the Elizabeth Line for London City Airport.
  • Add one or more pedestrian and cycling bridges across the Thames.
  • Expand of the Docklands Light Railway.
  • Expand the Thames Clipper.
  • Connect Barking Riverside station to Thamesmead and Abbey Wood station either by a rail or a fast ferry.
  • Keep the cable-car.

I suspect there are other viable ideas.

Develop Incentives To Use Public Transport

Incentives could be in these areas.

  • Better station and bus terminals encourage more to use trains and buses.
  • Full free onboard wi-fi and phone charging.
  • Special fares for some journeys.

An example of the latter could be a discount for certain cross-river journeys.

Make The Silvertown Tunnel Available For Zero Carbon Vehicles Only

This would surely cut pollution in London.


We should use the Silvertown Tunnel to improve London’s air quality.

November 23, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Trains Disrupted After Lorry Crashes Onto Tracks In East Lothian

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

These are the first two paragraphs.

Train services in and out of Edinburgh have been delayed after a lorry crashed onto the tracks in East Lothian.

The lorry driver was taken to hospital following the crash onto the East Coast Main Line between Wallyford and Prestonpans at about 13:30. His condition is not known.


  1. On a day with a rail strike, this was all that was needed.
  2. The place name is appropriate.

There is no excuse for an accident like this.

June 23, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Volvo Trucks Showcases New Zero-Emissions Truck

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Volvo Trucks.

This is the first paragraph.

Imagine a truck that only emits water vapor, produces its own electricity onboard and has a range of up to 1 000 km. It’s possible with fuel cells powered by hydrogen, and Volvo Trucks has started to test vehicles using this new technology.

This picture shows one of the trucks.

It certainly looks like a normal truck.

From the press release, it looks like Volvo Trucks are taking a conservative approach to designing, developing and launching the truck.

  • Early examples will go through an extensive test program.
  • It uses two fuel cells can generate up to 300 kW.
  • Range is quoted at up to 1000 km.
  • Fully refuelling takes 15 minutes.
  • Gross weight is up to 65 tonnes.
  • It looks to be a straight replacement for a current diesel truck.

Full launch is mentioned as towards the end of the decade, after there are enough hydrogen filling stations.


I may not have driven a large truck like this, but I’ve certainly funded a large number and talked with many experienced operators.

It looks to me that this could be the truck for an operator or company, who wants to offer zero-carbon transport for commercial, environmental, public relations or tax reasons.


June 21, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Daimler Truck North America And Cummins Collaborate To Drive Hydrogen Fuel Cell Trucks Forward In North America

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Cummins.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Cummins Inc., a global power and hydrogen technologies leader, and Daimler Truck North America (DTNA), the largest heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America, are collaborating to upfit and validate Freightliner Cascadia trucks with a Cummins hydrogen fuel cell powertrain for use in North America. Freightliner will leverage Cummins’ fourth generation fuel cell powertrain, which provides improved power density, efficiency and durability.

The joint effort will support both organizations’ goals to reduce emissions across product offerings and operations. Upon successful validation, the companies intend to have initial units available in 2024 for selected customers.


  1. The Freightliner Cascadia is a heavy-duty semi-trailer truck and the flagship model of Freightliner, which is a subsidiary of Daimler Truck North America.
  2. There is already an electric variant of the Cascadia, which is called an eCascadia. It is this truck, that is being converted to hydrogen.

This article on Hydrogen Fuel News is entitled Cummins Partners With Freightliner On Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Truck, starts with this paragraph.

According to Cummins CEO Tom Linebarger who spoke at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo, it’s the responsibility of the trucking industry to create a cleaner future. He stated that, “We think we deliver goods to market and empower things,” adding that “We do things that are essential to the economy, and we are proud of it. We also think, though, that we need to help with prosperity that has to do with making sure we don’t consume and destroy the planet that we live on.”

Cummins seem to have placed a few bets on hydrogen.

Daimler Truck North America seem to be following the philosophy of being in both the electric and the hydrogen market with two separate products, that I outlined in Daimler Trucks Presents Technology Strategy For Electrification – World Premiere Of Mercedes-Benz Fuel-Cell Concept Truck.

Wrightbus appear to have done the same with their hydrogen and electric buses.

It will be interesting to see how American truckers take to Cummins offer of a hydrogen-powered truck.

May 21, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

Tevva Presents 7.5 Tonne Truck With Range Extender

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Electrive.

This is the first paragraph.

The English company Tevva has presented a 7.5-tonne truck that is supposed to have a range of up to 250 kilometres in electric drive mode and a range of up to 500 kilometres with the FC range extender activated. Production of the Tevva truck is scheduled to start in July 2022.

I like the concept, as it appears to give a reasonable range.

  • The design team behind the truck have a good pedigree.
  • The trucks are of a size to handle a useful load.
  • Larger trucks will be produced later.
  • The trucks will be built in a factory in the London Freeport.

I think we’ll see a lot more larger battery-electric vehicles with hydrogen range extenders.

September 28, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

Fossil-​Free Steel A Giant Step In Scania’s Decarbonisation

This title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Automotive World.

This is the introductory sub-title.

“Now we are gearing up in our journey towards completely emission-free products!” This is how Scania’s Head of Purchasing Anders Williamsson sees the company’s decision to invest in and enter into a partnership with the company H2 Green Steel (H2GS).

Other points from the article include.

  • Each Scania truck contains five tonnes of steel.
  • Scania will have a close partnership with H2GS.
  • Scania will be able to get 90 % of their steel from H2GS.

H2GS will change steelmaking, when they start production in 2024.

March 2, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Daimler Trucks Presents Technology Strategy For Electrification – World Premiere Of Mercedes-Benz Fuel-Cell Concept Truck

This title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Daimler Global Media Site.

These are the opening bullet points.

  • Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck, a fuel-cell truck with a range of up to 1,000 kilometers and more for flexible and demanding long-haul transport – customer trials in 2023, start of series production in second half of this decade.
  • Mercedes-Benz eActros LongHaul, a battery-electric truck with a range of about 500 kilometers for energy-efficient transport on plannable long-haul routes – projected to be ready for series production in 2024.
  • Mercedes-Benz eActros, a battery-electric truck with a range of well over 200 kilometers for heavy urban distribution to go into series production in 2021.
  • ePowertrain global platform architecture offers synergies and economies of scale.

Judging by the spelling, this media copy, is from the bad spellers of Trumpland.

It looks to be a case of Daimler have called up the heavy brigade.

The best way to learn more is to search for “Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck”

There’s some good YouTube videos.

From this video, I ascertained the following.

  • The truck has a stainless steel tank for liquid hydrogen on either side between the front and rear wheels.
  • There are two 150 kW fuel cells, which appear to be of an inhouse Mercedes design.
  • There is a 70 kWh battery between the two liquid hydrogen tanks low down in the middle of the truck.
  • The battery can supply 400 kW, if needed.

This screen capture shows a cutaway from the video.

I am impressed by the design.

  • Everything is fitted neatly in the small space.
  • The design doesn’t seem to intrude into the load space, so I would assume, it would work with all existing trailers and bodies.
  • The battery position must help stability and driveability.
  • It looks like a design, that would be friendly to cyclists, as the hydrogen tanks act as a round safety barrier.

I shall look at the operation.


  • The current Actros trucks have engines with a power of up to 500 HP or 400 kW.
  • The 70 kWh battery can provide 400 kW for about 10 minutes.
  • Regenerative braking to the battery must be possible.
  • There’s probably a well-programmed computer between the driver and the electric transmission.

I wouldn’t be surprised that the truck is more of a battery-hydrogen hybrid, than a pure hydrogen truck.

Suppose, it was hauling a heavy load from Felixstowe to Manchester.

  • Will the truck charge the battery before it leaves Felixstowe? It could use the fuel cells or be plugged in to a high-performance charger. 70 kWh, is not the biggest of batteries compared to say those on a train.
  • Once on the A45 (Sorry! A14), it would accelerate quickly to the cruising speed, probably using mostly battery power.
  • It would then cruise mainly using hydrogen and the fuel cells to the destination. The truck would be optimised for an economic cruise.
  • During any deceleration, regenerative braking to the battery would be used.
  • Battery power might be called upon on any inclines or after a stop.

Intriguingly, a range of 1000 kilometres or 620 miles would allow many out-and-bank journeys in the UK, France, Germany or Italy to be performed without refuelling.

Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle are all under 300 miles from the Suffolk port.


I used to part-own a company, that financed trucks, moving loads into and out of Felixstowe in the 1980s.

From what I learned then of the heavy truck market, hydrogen-powered heavy trucks are going to be a winner, especially, if most journeys are out-and-back from one end.

October 2, 2020 Posted by | Design, Hydrogen | , , , , | 3 Comments