The first hydrogen and electric-powered lorry to be mass-produced in the UK has been unveiled.

Start-up firm Tevva, based in Thurrock, Essex, has added a hydrogen fuel cell system to its battery-electric HGV design.

The hydrogen tops up the battery, enabling the vehicle to carry heavier loads over longer distances.

The hydrogen fuel cellA hydrogen fuel cell tops up the electric battery (Tevva/PA)

The 7.5-tonne hydrogen electric truck can be driven for up to 310 miles, according to Tevva.

The firm’s chief executive and founder Asher Bennett told the PA news agency: “When a zero emission truck is doing more miles per day, that is very good for the air we breathe, for the planet and for the economics of running electric trucks.

“Every mile you drive on an electric truck, it’s so much cheaper than driving on a diesel truck.

“If you’re concerned about range, and you’re not driving a lot of miles, you’re just not saving enough money as you could.”

Hydrogen is currently more expensive and harder to obtain than electricity.

Mr Bennett said the new lorry’s “main fuel” will continue to be its electric-powered battery which is recharged overnight.

The addition of a hydrogen supply will “remove the concern” that the battery could run out of power, he claimed.

“No fleet operator is going to put out a truck in the morning that is going to get anywhere near the limits of its range,” Mr Bennett said.

“Which means putting an electric truck on a much shorter range than it could have done.”

The hydrogen electric truck will be “a popular choice” for fleet operators “across the UK, Europe and eventually North America”, he added.

Tevva is offering “affordable” hydrogen supplies to customers, with refuelling taking a similar time as filling a tank with diesel.

Sales of new diesel-powered lorries will be banned in the UK from 2040 as part of the country’s efforts to reach net zero for carbon emissions by 2050.

Transport minister Trudy Harrison said: “Hydrogen fuel cells and other zero emission technology will be vital in helping us decarbonise transport.

“A thriving UK hydrogen industry could not only help us meet our climate change obligations, but also support thousands of jobs across the country in years to come.

“UK-based manufacturers like Tevva continue to build on the skills and expertise we have in hydrogen in the UK, developing new technologies, supporting economic growth, and working towards net zero.”