ULEMCo has debuted the world’s first hydrogen fuelled ambulance at COP26.
On 2 November, ULEMCo explained how the Zero Emission Rapid Response Operations (ZERRO) ambulance includes innovations such as a hydrogen fuel cell range extender with an electric drive, a low frame chassis, and a bespoke lightweight ambulance body. It also has specific features, such as a low access floor and frame-based body that enable it to meet the payload requirements of the service, and that the hydrogen fuel cell ensures productivity with fast and flexible refuelling.
ZERRO was originally started by the Yorkshire Ambulance Service, which had range requirements requiring the flexibility hydrogen provides. ULEMCo, together with partners including Mellor, Promech Technologies, Lyra Electronics and VCS, and support from Innovate UK, NHS England and NHS Improvement, has led the project, aiming to show best in class zero emission operation or urban and rural use.
The working prototype vehicle has a hydrogen fuel cell in the powertrain and is capable of a 300-mile range. Following COP26, NHS England and NHS Improvement will work with ambulance trusts to trial it across England, before developing an operational plan to roll out zero emission ambulances across the NHS.