The Liverpool City Region is set to be the first place in the North of England to trial hydrogen buses following a successful £6.4m bid to the government’s Office for Low Emissions (OLEV).
The bid was put forward by a consortium led by BOC and will see the creation of a new hydrogen refuelling station at the BOC plant in St Helens, which produces hydrogen for industrial customers in the region and further afield.
The Liverpool City Region Hydrogen Bus Project will potentially see up to 25 hydrogen-powered buses on the streets and will contribute to the city region’s plans both to improve air quality and work towards a zero-carbon economy by 2040.
The first bus trial is expected to take place in 2020, subject to agreement with the Bus Alliance.
The new hydrogen refuelling station will initially deliver 500kg of hydrogen every day. Crucially, the project aims to demonstrate the commercial viability of a model that installs refuellers for high-use fleets to develop a network for future use by passenger cars and other vehicles.
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said, “With a low-carbon economy worth more than £2bn a year, we are already in the vanguard of the green energy revolution and the Liverpool City Region Hydrogen Bus Project is another very exciting step in that direction.”
“Introducing commercially-viable hydrogen-powered buses would not only help our city region tackle poor air quality and achieve our ambition of being zero carbon by 2040 but would put us at the forefront of a technology that could be transformative for the rest of the country and beyond.”
Jan Ellringmann, BOC Head of Sales & Marketing, added, “As the market leader in industrial gases in the UK, BOC has produced hydrogen safely and efficiently for many decades, including from our site at St Helens.”
“As pioneers of hydrogen’s use in low-carbon transport – commercial vehicles and cars as well as buses – BOC is delighted to be working with the project partners to help bring cleaner air to Liverpool City Region.”
Other partners in the project include the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Arcola Energy, Alexander Dennis and the city region’s Bus Alliance members Arriva and Stagecoach.
Ben Todd, CEO of Arcola Energy, commented, “We are excited to see the ambition that the Liverpool City Region has for clean transport and delighted that the city region will be the site for the first fleet of zero emission buses using our innovative hydrogen and fuel cell technology.”
“We are in the process of setting up our production facility here and I am personally looking forward to seeing both fleets of zero emission buses and new high-value manufacturing being established in my home town.”
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