Analysis of a Strategic Hydrogen Refuelling Infrastructure (ATHENA)

Project Background 

In realising the commitment of the UK towards net zero emissions by 2050, the implementation of cleaner energy sources is critical. Heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) attributed to an estimated 17% of road transport greenhouse gas emissions in the UK during 2019. In working towards a net zero solution of hydrogen fuel cell HGVs, it is critical to assess the deployment of a hydrogen refuelling infrastructure. Furthermore, it is important to gain an understanding of the investment required for the hydrogen refuelling and distribution networks. In analysing economic feasibility for hydrogen refuelling corridors, it is necessary to determine the number of hydrogen refuelling stations (HRSs) required to serve the road freight demand along with the capacity per station. Furthermore, various hydrogen delivery and dispensing strategies should be considered. 

Read the Executive Summary or watch a presentation about this project. 

The full report can be found here: ATHENA final report with the supplementary information

Research Questions 

  • What are the refuelling demands for HGVs along the corridors? 
  • What is the minimum number of HRS s required to serve the refuelling demand? 
  • What are the geographic locations and capacities of each of the HRSs required?  
  • What is the best hydrogen dispense and delivery model to follow? 


Data analysis and quantitative modelling techniques, including optimisation algorithms and computer simulation modelling, are employed. Data analysis is performed in mapping the current refuelling freight demand. Additionally, an optimisation model is utilised to minimise the number of hydrogen refuelling stations required, while determining the location and capacity of each. Finally, an agent-based simulation model is developed to model the operations of the hydrogen supply chain. 

Project Leads/ Supervisors 

Dr Christa Searle 

Co-investigators/ PhDs/ RAs 


Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)