Battery or hydrogen for net zero HGV’s

Aug 10, 2022
Author: Paul Wormald
Paul is a partner at our Doncaster office. Paul specialises in advising small businesses and businesses in the transport & logistics sector. Paul also specialises in providing cloud accounting services to our clients.
hydrogen or battery hgv


The transport industry is still considering what the best long-term solution may be for net-zero HGVs. There are currently two leading technologies that HGVs can adopt which are hydrogen trucks, or battery trucks. The current debate is focused on which option is the most practical and financially viable for the transport and logistics industry. In this article, we are going to discuss the positives and negatives of adopting battery trucks and hydrogen trucks.



In terms of cost, battery-powered HGVs are the more affordable option. Hydrogen-powered HGVs will require three times as much electric power generation compared to electric HGVs. This means that running an electric-powered HGV will cost less than running a diesel HGV, whereas hydrogen HGVs will cost more. However, some experts believe that with further development the cost of running a hydrogen HGV could be reduced.


Range & Refuel time

Hydrogen fuel cells currently deliver longer ranges and quicker refuel times than battery-powered HGVs. However, experts have suggested that an Electric Road System (ERS) could be a feasible option. An ERS would allow battery-powered HGVs to charge their HGV via overhead cables as they travel. However, this would require an investment of around £20bn to implement, and would involve significant disruption to the existing road network.



Hydrogen is much less reliable than electricity because it is more difficult to create and transport because it requires a platinum catalyst. In addition, hydrogen-powered HGVs would be much less energy efficient than electricity making battery-powered HGVs more reliable.


Hawsons transport & logistics partner Paul Wormald commented:

With the ever-increasing scarcity and cost of traditional fossil fuels, coupled with the trend towards more sustainable practices, the whole question of how HGV fleets may be fuelled in the future is an interesting one and one that throws up a number of challenges.

From a practical perspective, a lot of investment will be required in refueling infrastructure under pretty much all of the current alternatives, and the creation of ERS system would bring its own level of disruption to an already stretched road system.

Whilst the long-term future is intended to be green, the immediate future still looks to be diesel driven.


To conclude, battery-powered HGVs would appear to be currently more cost-effective and more reliable than hydrogen. However, hydrogen-powered HGVs have the potential to deliver longer ranges and quicker refueling time.


How can we help?

At Hawsons we have a dedicated team of transport & logistics accountants at our offices in Sheffield, Doncaster, and Northampton.

We act for a large number of clients in this sector across our three offices, ranging from hauliers to international couriers, and understand the challenges this dynamic sector faces.

Nearly every other commercial sector is reliant on the services transport and logistic businesses provide and, in many ways, this specialist sector is the linchpin for our country’s economy.

With our experience in the transport and logistics sector we are able to develop a close understanding of your business and, through active year round involvement, we can help you anticipate and deal with challenges quickly and effectively.

Free initial meeting

Paul Wormald

Partner, Doncaster

Scott Sanderson

Partner, Sheffield

David Owens

Partner, Northampton

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