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Measurement for our planet

As COP26 approaches, discover how NPL plays a key role in enabling climate action through the delivery of accurate, reliable data that supports decision making and enables low carbon innovation.

Measurement for our planet

How we are supporting technologies for zero emission transport

Decarbonisation of transport

NPL delivers research that supports the development and exploitation of decarbonised technologies to enable zero emission transport.

Why does the decarbonisation of transport matter?

When it comes to tackling the challenge of decarbonising transport, there are a number of potential measures and solutions that will contribute to reaching the overall net zero target. These include battery-electric, hydrogen fuel cell and bio-fuelled vehicles in replacement of conventional combustion engines. Alongside autonomous vehicles, digital solutions, improvements to public services and changes to ownership models. As one of the largest contributors to the UK’s emissions output, all forms of domestic and international transport will require decarbonisation solutions.

Decarbonising transport is not just a climate and environmental issue. 40,000 premature deaths are attributed to air pollution due to road traffic, with light-vehicles accounting for 32% of transport-related NOx emissions and heavy goods vehicles accounting for around 13%. The combination of its global health and environmental impacts makes the decarbonisation of transport a critical aim for leaders around the world.

How does NPL support the decarbonisation of transport?

Our measurement science expertise is providing consumer and commercial confidence in next generation transport technologies. Our solutions help validate performance, improve safety, develop lighter, stronger and more cost-effective materials, and assist with the development of new standards.

Our research also investigates the potential environmental impact of these new technologies, such as the recyclability and second-life applications of batteries used in electric vehicles at end-of-life.


NPL is working to identify the measurement needs and challenges relating to the decarbonisation of transport through:
  • Quantifying the impact of existing transport fuels
  • Understanding how to transition to safe, sustainable fuels including the necessary refuelling and utilisation infrastructure
  • Supporting the development, validation and deployment of cost-effective and scalable clean energy technologies, such as batteries, fuel cells and electrolysers
  • Performing bulk transport modelling, design and management
  • Facilitating the migration to more efficient, automated and multi-modal transport systems for end-to-end journeys.

By working closely with industry and government, we can help to accelerate the UK towards a decarbonised transport sector.

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