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Best-in-class low-cost mobile hydrogen refueller for a zero-emission transportation sector

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - MOBHYLE (Best-in-class low-cost mobile hydrogen refueller for a zero-emission transportation sector)

Reporting period: 2021-04-01 to 2022-03-31

This section should include information on:
- What is the problem/issue being addressed
- Why is it important for society?
- What are the overall objectives?

Transportation contributes more than 22% (and rising) of total 4.3 Billion Tonnes CO2 Equivalent EU greenhouse gas emissions1. Addressing this is an urgent challenge for every nation. Within the transport mix, heavy vehicles contribute disproportionately. Despite accounting for less than 2%2 of total vehicles on the roads, heavy-duty vehicles, such as buses and trucks, contribute more than a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions from domestic transport. Battery-electric powertrains and hydrogen fuel cells are two technologies that can deliver vehicles with zero emissions.
The superior energy density of hydrogen means it is a more compelling solution for decarbonizing heavy-duty vehicles than battery electric, but the high cost and complexity of refuelling infrastructure solutions is a significant barrier to adoption. NanoSUN’s solution to this challenge is the PioneerTM Mobile Hydrogen Refuelling Station (PioneerTM Station).
PioneerTM integrates NanoSUN’s proprietary cascade refuelling and dispense technology with industry standard high-pressure storage modules in 6-meter (20-feet) or 12-meter (40-feet) intermodal (ISO) containers. The value chain that PioneerTM enables offers the path to lowest total cost for hydrogen fuel. It is 100% aligned with activities in other fields to reduce the cost of green hydrogen production, such as electrolyser technology.

1. Production - In a low-cost hydrogen value chain, complex chemical manufacturing unit operations all take place at a large hydrogen plant. Possible owners of these include oil and gas majors such as Shell, industrial gas producers like Linde or new entrants such as EDF Hynamics. Eventually all hydrogen will be produced from green sources.
2. Preparation - At the large hydrogen plant, PioneerTM stations are filled with hydrogen fuel at the correct conditions of pressure and purity.
3. Distribution – Full PioneerTM stations are transported to the point of use. This is similar to how diesel or gasoline is distributed today.
4. Consumption - At point of use, users drive their vehicles up to the PioneerTM station, connect the filling hose and initiate refuelling via a simple push button user interface.
5. Replenishment - Once empty, the PioneerTM station is replaced with a full unit and returned for refilling as shown in Figure 3. In the future, all transport will be done by hydrogen trucks for zero emissions.
This project specifically targets field trials of a hydrogen refuelling network based on Pioneer mobile hydrogen refuelling stations in various heavy-duty vehicle segments.

Focus in year 1 has been on:
1. Building out the team and widening diversity
a. 31 personnel hired, across all business functions, of which almost 50% were women.
b. 25 personnel hired for technical and operations roles, of which >35% were women.

2. Securing equity finance to maximise growth in the business and co-fund the project.
a. £12M Series A round closed, led by specialist hydrogen VC and an industrial customer.
b. NanoSUN Secures Significant Investment To Scale Pioneer Manufacturing

3. Design and build of a Base Station with capabilities to fill Pioneer stations from lower pressure industrial sources, or even tube trailers.
a. Base station has been built, installed and commissioned at NanoSUN operations site in readiness for deployment on field trials.

4. Design and build of 2 Pioneer stations with capabilities to delivery full state of charge to 350 bar heavy duty vehicles.
a. 2 Pioneer stations built and commisioned, with serial manufacturing supply chain in place to deliver up to 10-12 additional systems in 2022, following commencement of field trials.

5. Validating the Pioneer operating model with potential customers and identifying potential trial partners
a. Order book for 10 x Pioneer stations based on Pioneer MVP demos and new design facilitated by EIC project. >5 potential trial opportunities identified.
b. Pioneer HRS Hydrogen Vehicle Refuelling Demo
c. Pioneer HRS to refuel Wrightbus’ Hydrogen Bus Ahead of COP26
d. ITM Motive & NanoSUN Partner to Provide Green H2 Refuelling
e. NanoSUN Partner Interview Special: Octopus Hydrogen
f. Westfalen Group Partner with NanoSUN
As expected, focus on hydrogen production has swung strongly towards large scale installations, with McKinsey reporting that projects totalling almost €30B are in progress across Europe, with various national and EU grant programmes specifically targeting 10-100MW scale installations.
A key challenge for these large scale projects is remoteness from centers of demand for transport applications. The large scale sources of renewable energy required for these projects tend not to be near to built up areas. Consequently accessing off-take in high value transportation applications requires a cost-effective solution to move the fuel from production site to point of use.
Customers value Pioneer’s ability to impact both dimensions of a key financial ratio governing project performance (utilization per unit of capital).
Unlike state of the art fixed hydrogen stations, which serve a single drop point by definition, a single Pioneer asset can be utilised to serve multiple drop points in early life and capital can be added stage by stage as demand increases. Therefore Pioneer is uniquely able to address both arguments of this ratio: Better utilization AND lower capital.
A founding principle of NanoSUN is to accelerate the transition to hydrogen as a transport fuel. The lead time for deployment of hydrogen to a fleet of vehicles with Pioneer stations is significantly shorter than building fixed stations. Every bus that is converted from diesel fuel to hydrogen saves around 1 tonne of CO2 emissions per week. NanoSUN’s engagement with early customers suggests potential for Pioneer to accelerate deployment of hundreds of early fleets of hydrogen HDVs, not only in Europe but globally.
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