Energy Efficiency and Sustainability

19.02.18

Sheffield council launches trial to use hydrogen vehicles in road maintenance fleet

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.

Another 15 electric vehicles are also in the pipeline to replace the council’s current fleet of diesel vans.

The programme is the first to be started in Amey’s UK network, and comes the week after the government announced its ambition to get hydrogen trains into the UK, as reported by PSE’s sister title RTM.

 “At the moment, there are only 20 to 30 hydrogen vehicles in the country and technology is at a very early stage,” said Streets Ahead environment manager, Tom Cullingford.

“But the obvious benefit is that there are zero carbon emissions which will help improve the air quality in and around Sheffield.”

The vehicles are Renault Kangoo ZE electric vans which have been fitted with hydrogen fuel-cells powered by SymbioFcell, a French firm.

The hydrogen fuel cells generate electricity to power the van, and add 200 miles distance to the vehicle’s maximum range.

Hydrogen is produced by a ITM Power electolyser that uses wind and water to create the fuel. The company also operates the hydrogen refuelling station which the vans will rely on. 

Over the course of the trial, which has been funded by a Department for Transport grant, the reduction in carbon emissions, cost of running the vehicles and mileage will be examined in detail.

Cabinet member for Environment and Street Scene at Sheffield City Council, councillor Bryan Lodge added: “Amey is taking huge steps to ensure it is operating in the greenest and most efficient way as staff travel and work around the city as part of the Streets Ahead programme.

“It’s great to see that it is mirroring the council’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions in the city and clean up the air that we all breathe.”

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