Hydrogen powered fire engines suitable for the UK


Hydrogen fuel in conjunction with battery energy storage can provide for zero emission fire engines, according to research.

On 11 May, ULEMCo revealed that zero emission battery electric fire tenders, in combination with hydrogen fuel cells and a minimum of 8kg of onboard hydrogen fuel storage, will meet current requirements for flexibility, emergency response and the water pumping requirements. It highlighted how this will prove invaluable in rural and semi-urban services especially, and for HGVs with power take-offs, where batteries alone will be unable to prove the overall energy needs of the application.

It also concluded that this onboard energy strategy of incorporating hydrogen fuel could be met within the existing vehicle design. There would be no need to compromise the equipment installation, therefore ensuring the potential deployment of zero emission vehicles in these types of application can be sped up.

ULMECo partnered with Oxfordshire County Council and its Fire Rescue Service for the study, with the findings set to be key for both the deployment of fully functional fire engines across all parts of the UK and other specialist vehicles needing significant power take-off.

The study saw existing fire station locations in Oxfordshire assessed, with options proposed for hydrogen refuelling locations to not only allow for the engines to refuel cost effectively, but to also provide the facility for the rest of the Oxfordshire public sector fleet. It found that locations where consolidated demand would be over 200kg a day, so that hydrogen infrastructure investors would be able to supply hydrogen at a price/kg that is similar to existing fuels and ownership cost models.