Liverpool aims to be the first place in the north of England to trial hydrogen buses following a successful £6.4million bid to the government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles. The bid was presented by a consortium led by industrial gas company BOC, and including Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Arcola Energy, Alexander Dennis, and 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, which produces hydrogen for industrial customers in the region and further afield.
The project could potentially see up to 25 hydrogen–powered buses on the streets of Liverpool, according to the backers. The first bus trial is expected to take place in 2020, subject to agreement with the Bus Alliance which represents bus operators.
The new hydrogen refuelling station will initially deliver 500kg of hydrogen a day, and the project aims to demonstrate the commercial viability of hydrogen refuelling for high-use fleets and to develop a network for future use by passenger cars and other vehicles.
“With a low-carbon economy worth more than £2billion 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,” says Steve Rotheram, metro mayor, Liverpool City Region. “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 & Marketing, adds: “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.”
Rob Jones, managing director, Stagecoach Merseyside, Cheshire and South Lancashire, says: “Stagecoach is a business that’s passionate about cutting emissions and we are continually innovating to deliver cleaner, greener travel. We’re delighted to be working closely with our Bus Alliance partners to develop and pioneer new approaches in sustainable travel.”