A trial to use hydrogen-powered vans to carry out road works in Sheffield has been announced by the city’s council.
The scheme will see Amey, which is delivering Sheffield City Council’s Streets Ahead programme to upgrade pavements, roads, lighting and bridges in the area, use two hydrogen-powered vans to carry out works over the next two years.
Amey is gearing up to run another 15 electric vehicles to replace the current diesel vehicles as part of its commitment to reducing carbon emissions. As part of this initiative the council is taking another major eco-friendly step by trialling two vans that use a hydrogen fuel cell to extend the range of power the battery gives to approximately 200 miles.
The Sheffield scheme – the first in Amey’s UK network – is being launched after a Government agency awarded a grant.
Results will be monitored by both Amey and the Department for Transport to assess the use of hydrogen-powered vehicles in general.
“We will run a trial with two hydrogen vehicles over the next two years,” said Streets Ahead Environment Manager, Tom Cullingford.
“At the moment, there are only 20 to 30 hydrogen vehicles in the country and technology is at a very early stage.” He added.
“But the obvious benefit is that there are zero carbon emissions which will help improve the air quality in and around Sheffield.”
The go-ahead coincides with interest from the Department of Transport in hydrogen-powered trains being introduced on part of the national rail network to replace diesel engines.
The vehicles are Renault Kangoo ZE electric vans, fitted with a hydrogen fuel cell by SymbioFcell a French company, and supplied to Amey via Symbio’s UK partner, Arcola Energy.
Dr Ben Todd, Managing Director of Arcola Energy said “We are delighted to be supplying Streets Ahead with Symbio Fcell hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles. We applaud the leadership shown in pioneering these vehicles which combine the low fuel cost and quiet, zero emission operation of a battery electric vehicle, with the all-weather range and fast fill of a hydrogen vehicle.”
Hydrogen for the vehicles will be provided by ITM Power from their hydrogen station based at Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) in Sheffield – one of only a handful of hydrogen refueling stations outside of London. The hydrogen uses is produced on site using renewable energy from a wind turbine.
To find out more about the Streets Ahead contract visit: www.sheffield.gov.uk/streetsahead
Source of News: Fuel Cell Works