Hydrogen fuel cell double decker buses replace Ricardo diesels

Hydrogen fuel cell double decker buses replace Ricardo diesels

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July 12, 2022 1 By Tami Hood

The company has repowered the bus through a partnership with Stagecoach North East.

Ricardo has partnered with Stagecoach North East to retrofit a diesel double decker bus with a propulsion system based on a hydrogen fuel cell.

The vehicle demonstrates that H2 can power transportation without any tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions.

Ricardo is using the demonstration vehicle to secure customers that will invest in fleets of passenger vehicles running on a hydrogen fuel cell. The idea is to work with companies aiming to participate in the future of sustainable shared mobility.

Hydrogen fuel cell - Bus Sustainability

The UK Department of Transport has partially funded this project by way of its Hydrogen Transport Hub Demonstration competition. This funding made it possible for Ricardo and Stagecoach North East to retrofit H2 tech into an existing double decker bus. The demonstrator vehicle will undergo a test across ten weeks and will also pursue a demonstration program around the Tees Valley, Brighton and Hove.

The feedback and data from the hydrogen fuel cell trials will support the future opportunities.

The information gained from the test will support the team’s explorations of future market opportunities and the various bus operator applications – as well as those with other partners – across the United Kingdom and outward from there.

Ricardo aims to provide the H2-powered vehicles at about half the price of a brand-new double decker bus. This will substantially reduce the upfront investments that will be needed while preventing approximately 45,000 kilograms of carbon dioxide by giving existing buses a whole new life instead of constructing them from scratch. The goal is to secure 50 percent match funding investment in addition to customer commitment to begin the production of 150 buses that will begin service late in 2024.

“The UK bus industry directly supports around 250,000 jobs, as well as thousands of others in bus manufacturing and support services. There are around 38,000 buses in service in the UK, so we’re excited by the opportunities this type of project provides, to work with operators in support of their future environmental strategies,” said Ricardo hydrogen fuel cell Service Leader Andrew Ennever.

“The project has drawn upon the breadth and depth of Ricardo’s capabilities, from complex control systems to thermal systems, mechanical design to vehicle integration. We are now capturing learning from the demonstration trials to enable further refinements to be included within a future production solution and alternative hydrogen fuel cell vehicle applications.”