Will Tees Valley become the UK’s hydrogen capital?

Trials of diesel bus retrofits and NHS hydrogen vehicles have secured a share of a £2.5m government funding

The Big Zero report

All eyes are on Tees Valley in the north of England as the area will become home to the country’s first hydrogen trials for transport.

That follows the £2.5 million research and development competition launched by the Department for Transport that will support projects including hydrogen delivery vans for supermarket chains.

Successful projects also include diesel bus retrofits with hydrogen fuel cells and hydrogen vehicles for police and NHS rapid response services.

Stagecoach and Ricardo PLC have partnered to retrofit a double-decker diesel bus with a hybrid fuel cell system.

The trials and experiences from the prototype bus, which will be used on local routes, is expected to inform research on how fuel cell retrofit technologies can be deployed widely in the UK’s public transport.

Toyota will also deliver hydrogen vehicles, including those that will facilitate the town’s rapid respond services for Clevelant Police and NHS patient support.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “With less than 100 days to go until COP26, I am committed to supporting industry to develop innovative new technologies that will decarbonise transport, helping us to build back greener and level up the country.

“By harnessing the power of hydrogen technology, we can pave the way for its use across all transport modes, creating cleaner, greener more efficient transport systems across the UK.”

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