Bus and Coach

Retro-fitted hydrogen double decker bus begins 10-week test

14 July 2022 #Bus and Coach

Engineering consultancy Ricardo has repowered a double decker bus with a hydrogen fuel cell propulsion system ready for zero emission demonstration.

The project, part funded by the Department of Transport through its Hydrogen Transport Hub Demonstration competition, has seen Ricardo work with Stagecoach North East to retro-fit hydrogen fuel cell technology into an existing public transport vehicle.

This demonstrator is now undergoing a 10-week test and demonstration programme around the Tees Valley and Brighton and Hove.

Feedback and data from the trials will support the exploration of future market opportunities and applications with bus operators and other partners across the UK and beyond.

Ricardo is seeking to offer the hydrogen fuel cell re-powered vehicles at around half the price of a new bus.

The aim is to secure 50% match funding investment plus customer commitment for an initial production of 150 buses that can enter service from late 2024.

While battery electric buses offer the right zero emission solution for many bus use cases, their shorter range, longer charge times and dependency on grid infrastructure mean that a mixed fleet will be required to achieve decarbonisation goals

Andrew Ennever, Service Leader for hydrogen fuel cells at Ricardo, said: “The project has drawn upon the breadth and depth of Ricardo’s capabilities, from complex control systems to thermal systems, mechanical design to vehicle integration.

“We are now capturing learning from the demonstration trials to enable further refinements to be included within a future production solution and alternative hydrogen fuel cell vehicle applications.”


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