The Tees Valley area is set to play host to the UK’s first hydrogen transport pilots, after the government unveiled the winners of £2.5mn R&D competition.
On 17 August, it outlined how the successful projects will see supermarkets, emergency services and delivery companies use hydrogen-powered transport to move goods and carry out local services. The trials will also prove key to build understanding of the role hydrogen will have in meeting net zero ambitions, helping to inform future investment decisions as well as export opportunities.
One pilot will see Ricardo work with Stagecoach to retrofit a double-decker diesel bus with a hybrid fuel cell system, with the bus then being driven on local routes, informing future cell retrofit technologies in public transport UK-wide. Toyota, meanwhile, will deliver a number of hydrogen vehicles to be deployed across the town’s rapid response services, including emergency response units for Cleveland Police and NHS patient support.
Elsewhere, HY Systems will look to demonstrate the use of hydrogen in delivery vans in the Tees Valley area. They will be used in collaboration with a leading supermarket chain, running between 19 superstores and their main distribution centre. Finally, Element Energy will work with Sainsbury’s to trial a hydrogen-powered heavy goods vehicle in the area, operating from a local distribution centre with goods deliveries carried out in the area.