January 22, 2021

Hydrogen Energy for Future Government

There are a total of 404 principal (unitary, upper and second tier) councils in the UK: 339 in England, 32 in Scotland, 22 in Wales and 11 in Northern Ireland. A number of Councils across the UK are putting in place strategies to cut carbon emission throughout our every day life.


Siemens Mobility has introduced a dual-fuel field-services van to its fleet on a trial basis, in partnership with Aberdeen City Council. Their converted Renault Master has been fitted with a green hydrogen fuel tank for use in combination with conventional diesel fuel. This allows it to achieve up to 180mpg in dual-fuel mode, with diesel-only operation available as a back-up. It takes less than 10 minutes to refuel with green hydrogen, which is produced from renewable energy sources and reduces carbon emissions.

In October, Siemens Mobility announced global plans to develop and offer hydrogen systems for the rail industry and the company says it has “well-advanced” plans to launch hydrogen and battery- powered trains in Scotland and the rest of the UK.


Glasgow City Council, as Scotland largest local authority, is taking a leading role in determining its long term alternative fuel strategy.

There are currently over 1,300 vehicles in Glasgow City Councils fleet across the council “family”. This is made up of a diverse range of vehicles from small cars and car derived vans, light goods caged and tipper vans, tail-lift box vehicles, minibuses, roads and lighting maintenance vehicles (gritters and tippers), a range of bespoke skip and refuse collection vehicles and finally, our heavy articulated trucks/trailers. In addition, they have a further 800 items of heavy and hand held plant necessary to deliver core services.

All, but a handful of their current fleet, are diesel fuelled with a small number of cars being battery electric.
 The Council’s overall transport cost is in the region of £56m across the Council family with direct costs for leasing, servicing and maintaining their fleet at £24m p.a. Although they operate a sizable fleet, the geography of Glasgow is such that they are not a high mileage operator with the average annual mileage of 12k miles p.a, with a fuel bill in excess of £5m.

In November 2019, a Fleet strategy was adopted to achieve a ZERO EMISSIONS fleet within the timescale of the strategy period, 10 years.

The City Council has led the way in Scotland by introducing the first Low Emission Zone, initially to achieve compliance for buses, with other road users to be brought inline by 31 December 2022.

Following this, the City Government has committed to transform Glasgow into the UK’s first net zero city and the Fleet Strategy will set the framework to achieve that for its own operations.
Since it was approved, the Council has made good progress on Hydrogen development, with orders placed for 20 x dual fuel gritters ad a single Hydrogen Fuel Cell Refuse Collection Vehicle.
Over the next few years they anticipate a hydrogen fuel cell fleet of around 250 heavy vehicles, with an estimated annual requirement of between 350,000 kg and 500,000 kg of hydrogen.

From 2030, only Electric or Hydrogen powered vehicles should operate in the Glasgow Council Fleets.