Supporting the MOD transition to electric vehicles with hydrogen power

Supporting the MOD transition to electric vehicles with hydrogen power

The Defence Support organisation have launched the first of three hydrogen-fuelled charging facilities to power Front-Line Command electric fleet vehicles.

Starting with RAF Leeming, the hydrogen power units (HPUs) will also be trialled at the Navy’s HMNB DEVONPORT and the Army’s Merville Barracks, Colchester.

Trialling the use of hydrogen as an energy source is an important step in Defence’s transition to a fleet which is zero-emissions at the tailpipe by the end of December 2027. One where Defence Support maximise the opportunities that new approaches and technology present to reduce emissions whilst delivering operational advantage.

Air Vice Marshall Richard Hill, Director Defence Support Major Programmes, said:

“Working with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), and the three Services, this trial will further our understanding of hydrogen’s place in Defence’s future energy mix.  Using hydrogen to power some of our white fleet electric vehicles is a significant step forward in accessing a broader range of sustainable energy sources.  This will provide resilience and mobility in off-grid and compromised-supply locations.”

RAF Leeming Station Commander, Group Captain Gareth Prendergast said:

“It is fantastic to be part of the Defence Support programme exploring the use of hydrogen and how it may support Defence capabilities in the future. The GeoPura system allows us to demonstrate the concept here at RAF Leeming and understand how it can increase resiliency on our bases and influence operations at home and overseas.”

Leeming 1
Hydrogen fuelled charging facility at RAF Leeming

The trial, which is being delivered in support of the Sustainable Road Transport (SRT) programme, focuses on hydrogen as a source of fuel. It is just one of the ways Defence might be able to manage electric vehicles in the future. The Defence Support organisation will also be exploring further options, including how Defence can use hydrogen in other ways, such as fully hydrogen-powered vehicles.

This work aligns with the Government’s target of 100% zero emissions at the tailpipe for car and small van fleet by the end of December 2027, and with the Ministry of Defence and Defence Support’s sustainability aims.

Air Commodore Ange Baker, Defence Support organisation’s Head Support Futures and Operational Energy Authority, said

“It is an important step to start this trial for rapid recharging of our electric car fleet. Not only does this look at supporting the existing charging network and our electric car fleet, but is also part of the wider work to examine future energy options for military use and to start configuring Defence for the global energy transition.”

The Defence Support organisation, part of Strategic Command, are working in partnership with DIO to make sure the energy infrastructure Defence needs meets its requirements. Renewable energy specialists, GeoPura, are providing all the energy, charging and payment infrastructure for the facility.

Rebecca McLean, Chief Commercial Officer at GeoPura said:

“GeoPura is delighted to support RAF Leeming and the MOD in delivering off-grid charging for its growing EV fleet as part of the wider Sustainable Road Transport programme.

As the adoption of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) increases, there is often insufficient grid capacity or suitable infrastructure available to support recharging needs, particularly rapid charging requirements. Our hydrogen-powered generators provide a reliable and environmentally friendly source of power, ensuring seamless rapid charging for the RAF base, with zero harmful emissions, completely unrestricted by grid limitations.

This flagship benchmarking trial led by Strategic Command’s Defence Support organisation, will be expanded across other services, including the Navy and Army, supporting its transition to zero-emissions tailpipe vehicles by 2027.”

Contact us to find out more about our HPU and its range of applications.

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