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HVG - Heavy Duty Vehicles

Net Zero propulsion for HGV

HGVs keep the world running. Some have described as “the red blood cells of our planet’s circulation”. They get just about everything we need as a society, to the places they need to be, providing the backbone for logistics providers and driving over 17 billion vehicle miles per year in the UK alone!

Hydrogen HGV powertrain

Our technology offers the most efficient, affordable and practical hydrogen powertrain for HV applications

Fuel agnostic solutions

Carnot power units will be developed to run on e-fuels, biofuels, hydrogen or ammonia fuels for net zero operation.
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This workhorse status produces a particularly challenging set of characteristics. Of all vehicle types, Class 8 HGVs have by far the most demanding milage requirements, on average travelling about 62,000 miles per year. Some firms can also double this, operating the same vehicle on double shifts with different drivers and it is fairly typical for a driver to be covering 500 miles per day. There is also a complex set of requirements surrounding the timing, duration and measuring of breaks that need to be taken with daily, weekly, and fortnightly limits to the hours that can be driven.


Making HGV fleets pay

In addition to the challenging physical demands on the vehicle, the financial pressure is no different. A typical HGV fleet operates between 3 – 5% margins and are constantly being squeezed from all sides with rising fuel, vehicle, maintenance, and driver costs. Some estimate these increases will push margins down even further to the 1 – 2% range.

One of the key metrics used in the industry is cost per tonne kilometre. This metric allows a standardised way to compare the cost efficiency of different forms of transport but also different type of propulsion technologies. A key objective of all HGV OEMs is to reduce this cost to gain competitive advantage as it is the key figure that attracts operators.

MtCO2 emissions
miles per year
UK NOx emissions

Looming environmental regulation

According to the Department of Transport, in 2016 transport became the largest single greenhouse gas producing sector in the UK, producing about 122 MtCO2e. Of this, HGVs only made up 5% of miles travelled but were responsible for a disproportionate 15% of total emissions. Passenger cars have been getting consistently more efficient over the last 20 years but progress on HGV efficiency has slowed.

Transport also produces 34% of national NOx emissions and over 10% of particulate matter emissions. Whilst these have decreased considerably in the last 30 years, the vast majority of savings have come from passenger cars with other transport methods remaining fairly stable.

Future of HGV propulsion systems

In order to continue the flow of essential goods around the world, the future of HGV propulsion must move towards net zero technologies, able to offer the same reliability, endurance and demanding workloads as current diesel engines whilst ideally reducing cost.

Which is where Carnot Powertrains comes in. We offer unrivalled power density offering many of the same benefits in terms of reliability, endurance and refuelling convenience as offered by diesel power. Our powertrains can run completely net zero whilst offering flexibility in terms of fuel options. Hydrogen powered HGV powertrains are cited by many as the future of the industry and Carnot will be offering the powertrain of choice for all hydrogen applications.

When comparing the cost per tonne kilometre compared to alternative diesel and electrification options, a Carnot powertrain offers a cheaper solution even compared to diesel

The incredibly compact design also means less space is required to be allocated to the powertrain, a fundamental shortfall with battery and fuel cell concepts. This allows operators to increase, rather than drastically reduce, the total cargo capacity per vehicle.  

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