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Decarbonising our transport sector

Exploring batteries, fuel cells and other decarbonised transport solutions

Reducing the environmental impact of transport

Reducing pollution and the environmental impact of transport is a key strand of the UK Government’s delivery of ‘net zero’ targets. Success will require updated and repurposed modes of transport and infrastructure that are safe, resilient and decarbonised.

The needs of consumers and transport network users are constantly changing. Predicting and meeting the capacity demands is a complex challenge and as we strive for efficiency within the system, it is also likely that there will be a shift to shared, automated transport options.

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 refuelling and utilisation infrastructure
  • undertaking the development, validation and deployment of cost-effective and scalable clean energy technologies, such as batteries and fuel cells
  • performing bulk transport modelling, design and management
  • facilitating the migration to a more efficient, automated and multi-modal transport systems for end-to-end journeys.

If you would like to learn more about our work developing decarbonised transport solutions please contact us. 

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Providing measurement expertise on decarbonised transport

Alongside expertise in emissions measurement, NPL’s research teams have world-leading expertise and facilities in electrochemical device testing, experimental modelling and materials characterisation to support new technologies for decarbonised transport solutions. Our work includes:

  • monitoring transport emissions including air quality, GHG emissions and noise
  • investigating the recyclability and reuse of batteries
  • performing analysis and validation of batteries and fuel cells, including diagnostics and standard test methods to accelerate development
  • undertaking performance assessments for new and existing technologies, including decarbonised fuel, infrastructure quality, fuel quality analysis and materials degradation
  • enabling the digitisation of the transport sector, including modelling, data analytics, system optimisation, use of sensors and the IoT.

The UK Government has set ambitious targets for transforming the UK’s energy system, outlined in the 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, the Energy White Paper and the Clean Growth Strategy which provide a robust framework for how the UK can deliver on climate action and meet these targets.

NPL is working to deliver on these strategies. We support world-leading innovation, and our research is helping to drive cost reductions and ensure deployment of low-carbon technologies. NPL’s research is also increasing our understanding of emissions and pollution, and we are working to improve how we measure key climate variables both on the ground and from space. We apply the latest advances in measurement science to make every stage of energy generation, transport and usage more efficient, safe and affordable, and to improve the quality of data available on the state of our climate and natural environment.

Case study

Improving safety in automated vehicles


Case study

Machine learning model trained for better batteries for transport


Case study

Piston ring manufacturer doubles throughput


Working with NPL

Our researchers are at the forefront of new innovations that promise to deliver new solutions for environmental challenges. We play a vital role in providing the standards and assurance to accelerate new products to market and providing reliable data. Learn more about our research areas and working with our experts.  

If you have a research collaboration where our expertise can help, please can contact the team and discuss your challenge.

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Work with us

Our research and measurement solutions support innovation and product development. We work with companies to deliver business advantage and commercial success.
Contact our Customer Services team on +44 20 8943 7070