Ricardo has received government funding to create a retrofit hydrogen fuel cell bus demonstrator.
Earlier this year, the UK Government launched a new hydrogen transport competition to coincide with the opening of the Tees Valley Hydrogen Hub.
Ricardo submitted a bid with Stagecoach to demonstrate a retrofit hydrogen fuel cell bus.
Following a successful bid, Ricardo will now develop a scalable, modular solution, enabling it to be installed, with minimal adaption to multiple single and double-decker platforms.
The modular concept may also be saleable as a ‘new fuel cell’ module for coachbuilders across the European Union.
Teri Hawksworth, managing director for Ricardo Automotive and Industrial (EMEA) Division said: ‘National and Local Government Authorities across the UK are bringing forward their zero-emissions targets to 2030.
‘This creates challenges for bus operators who, while still grappling with the financial challenges of the global pandemic, are committed to transitioning to zero-emission vehicles.
‘Winning the Hydrogen Transport Hub Demonstration competition will enable us to promote hydrogen fuel cell capabilities for buses in the UK and mainland Europe, and demonstrate the environmental, societal and economic benefits of the circular economy: affordably achieving zero emissions, while extending vehicle lives through retrofitting rather than scrapping vehicles.’
Steve Walker, Stagecoach North East managing director, added: ‘Introducing new low emission technologies to reduce air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions is key to achieving our environmental goals.
‘We are delighted to be working with Ricardo to bring this exciting advancement to the UK’s first hydrogen hub, which represents a huge step forward for the Tees Valley. Stagecoach has invested more than £1billion in greener buses in the past decade and is fully committed to reducing its environmental impact. Our collaboration to help with technical knowledge and extensive driver testing for the inception of this new technology is a further demonstration of our desire to help climate change.’