Fleet of zero-carbon hydrogen-powered buses coming to Liverpool city region

A consortium led by industrial gases company BOC, and including Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Arcola Energy, has secured £6.4m from the Government for a pilot project. Tony McDonough reports

Steve Rotheram
Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, with a hydrogen-powered bus

 

Up to 25 hydrogen-powered buses will take to the streets of the Liverpool city region emitting nothing but water from their exhaust pipes.

A consortium led by industrial gases company BOC, which also includes Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Arcola Energy, has secured £6.4m from the Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles to launch a pilot project.

Refuelling station

Working with bus-maker Alexander Dennis and bus operators Arriva and Stagecoach, the Liverpool City Region Hydrogen Bus Project will see the creation of a new hydrogen refuelling station at the BOC plant in St Helens. It already produces hydrogen for industrial customers in the region and further afield.

The project will contribute to the city region’s plans both to improve air quality and work towards a zero carbon economy by 2040.  The first bus trial is expected to take place in 2020, subject to agreement with the Bus Alliance.

The new hydrogen refuelling station will initially deliver 500kg of hydrogen every day. Crucially, the project aims to demonstrate the commercial viability of a model that installs refuellers for high-use fleets to develop a network for future use by passenger cars and other vehicles.

Low carbon

Liverpool City Region Metro May, Steve Rotheram, said: “With a low-carbon economy worth more than £2bn a year, we are already in the vanguard of the green energy revolution and the Liverpool City Region Hydrogen Bus Project is another very exciting step in that direction. 

“Introducing commercially-viable hydrogen-powered buses would not only help our city region tackle poor air quality and achieve our ambition of being zero carbon by 2040 but would put us at the forefront of a technology that could be transformative for the rest of the country and beyond.”

Jan Ellringmann, BOC head of sales and marketing, added: “As the market leader in industrial gases in the UK, BOC has produced hydrogen safely and efficiently for many decades, including from our site at St Helens.

“As pioneers of hydrogen’s use in low-carbon transport – commercial vehicles and cars as well as buses – BOC is delighted to be working with the project partners to help bring cleaner air to Liverpool city region.”

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