The UK Government has published multiple strategies in recent months outlining its approach to decarbonising the way we live, work and travel. These strategies have included decarbonising transport; developing a thriving low carbon hydrogen sector in the UK, local government and the path to net zero; and a focus on net zero to build back greener. Together, these strategies reinforce the message that there is now a clear push towards zero emissions fleets.
What is evident is that government “expects low carbon hydrogen to play a key role in decarbonising the (transport) sector”. While only around 2% of England’s local operator bus fleet is currently using alternative fuels, this will undoubtedly start to increase, as a result of additional funding support and the accelerated pressure to move towards net zero.
However, this pressure could easily trigger those interested in making the change (local authorities, transport companies, and particularly bus operators) to adopt short-term solutions, without adequate consideration of how the decisions made now will play out in the long term, and as the market develops.
Greater partnership between these organisations and experts in hydrogen for mobility will be key to circumnavigating these challenges, enabling local authorities and transport operators alike to think strategically about how to decarbonise their fleets. In particular, it will be important to consider whether operators need to decarbonise their full fleet or find a partial conversion solution.
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