Retrofit hydrogen bus planned by Ricardo and Stagecoach

Ricardo has received funding to create a retrofit hydrogen fuel cell bus demonstrator for the UK’s first hydrogen transport hub in the north-east of England. 

The funding follows a bid by Ricardo alongside Stagecoach to the UK government’s Hydrogen Transport Hub Demonstration competition to showcase real-world hydrogen transport technology solutions. 

The resulting demonstrator will be available in the Tees Valley Hydrogen Hub from February 2022. 

Teri Hawksworth, managing director, Ricardo automotive and industrial division says: “National and local government authorities across the UK are bringing forward their zero emissions targets to 2030. This creates challenges for bus operators who, while still grappling with the financial challenges of the global pandemic, are committed to transitioning to zero emission vehicles. 

“Winning the Hydrogen Transport Hub Demonstration competition will enable us to promote hydrogen fuel cell capabilities for buses in the UK and mainland Europe, and demonstrate the environmental, societal and economic benefits of the circular economy: affordably achieving zero emissions, while extending vehicle lives through retrofitting rather than scrapping vehicles.” 

Steve Walker, Stagecoach North East managing director, adds: “Introducing new low emission technologies to reduce air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions is key to achieving our environmental goals. We are delighted to be working with Ricardo to bring this exciting advancement to the UK’s first hydrogen hub, which represents a huge step for the Tees Valley.” 

Ricardo will develop a scalable, modular solution, enabling it to be installed, with minimal adaption, to multiple single- and double-deck platforms. The modular concept may also be saleable as a ‘new fuel cell’ module to coach builders across the European Union enabling them to develop new fuel cell buses by taking a rolling chassis and applying their coach build body alongside the fuel cell module solution.