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The Transport Companies Leaving Fossil Fuels Behind

Hydrogen-powered planes, more fuel-efficient aircraft designs, and all-electric parcel delivery services are just some of the ways in which the transport sector is looking to decarbonize.

Aerial of LAX planes

Photograph: Getty Images

Cleaner, greener transport is on its way—from delivery to air travel—but government action on incentives and infrastructure is needed to make it work fast and at scale.

“It’s a bit frustrating sometimes in the UK, with the government delaying targets and support,” says Murvah Iqbal, co-CEO and founder of all-electric delivery network Hived. Hived counts ASOS, Zara, Pip & Nut, and Minor Figures among its clients, and hopes to help decarbonize the 10 to 12 billion parcels delivered annually in the UK. But, Iqbal points out, EV infrastructure needs investment.

Igor Murakami, director of new services and open innovation at Jaguar Land Rover, agrees. “The market’s very fragmented, so we need government support to consolidate everything,” he explains. “It’s a big investment to make sure that we have enough energy, charging points, and space to avoid congestion.”

In air travel, markets are moving more efficiently than the government, says Tom O’Leary, CEO at JetZero, which is on course to launch a zero-carbon-emissions, hydrogen-powered, blended-wing aircraft in 2030.

“The entrenched dynamics of a global market that’s ruled by a duopoly didn’t really have any interest in disrupting themselves,” he says. “We found that a 50 percent reduction in fuel burn and emissions can be achieved using the exact same engines, prior to transitioning to future propulsion.”

And that’s just the start, says Katya Constant, chief investment officer at ZeroAvia. Fuel-cell technology needs a decade to improve—but her company is launching a hydrogen engine for 20-seat aircraft in 2025.

This article appears in the March/April 2024 issue ofWIRED UK magazine.

Credit belongs to : www.wired.com

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