World-first scheme converts bin lorries to run on hydrogen fuel

by Search Gate staff. Published Wed 09 Sep 2015 11:36
Bin lorries to get hydrogen fuel upgrades
Bin lorries to get hydrogen fuel upgrades

Liverpool-based ULEMCo, the company spearheading the use of ultra-low emission hydrogen fuelled vehicles, is on target to complete the dual fuel conversions of bin lorries as part of the Levenmouth Community Energy Project.

The refuse collection vehicle (RCVs) conversions, the first of their type in the world, will be used by Fife Council as key partners in the project, to perform normal refuse collection duties, and extend the practical use of hydrogen as an alternative transport fuel.

Initially, the work involves converting two RCVs and five Ford Transits, with further vehicles expected to be converted as part of the initiative next year. By replacing significant quantities of diesel in the vehicle’s refuse collection duty cycle with very low carbon hydrogen made locally in Levenmouth, the cost of diesel fuel is expected to reduce.

Dramatic savings in carbon dioxide emissions are also expected, and the vehicles will provide evidence of the opportunity for delivering improved local air quality in urban areas.

ULEMCo has experience of converting light commercial vehicles to hydrogen fuel, but this is the first project involving HGV chassis. Executives at the company are excited that the benefits of hydrogen fuel are being recognized in this very practical ‘real life’ application, where significant user experience will be gained by the operators, to understand the breadth of opportunity for hydrogen fuel.

“It’s great to see the expansion of hydrogen refuelling capability in the UK”, said Amanda Lyne, CEO of ULEMCo. “Particularly so as this site is part of a community effort linked to renewables – saving significant levels of CO2 in a diverse range of practical applications. We believe that for these types of vehicle there are few options available today to dramatically address improved emissions, and look forward to delivering these conversions to the project partners.”

In addition to Fife Council, The Levenmouth Project consortium partners includes Toshiba, and Bright Green Hydrogen, whose chief executive George Archibald said: “As part of the partners’ vision for the project, Levenmouth will become home to one of Europe’s largest fleet of hydrogen dual-fuel vehicles and this includes the refuse collection vehicles.”

This Scottish region is positioning itself as a global leader in clean energy, and is developing the Hydrogen Office in Methil into a world-class demonstrator of hydrogen applications generated from renewable sources.

Hydrogen refuelling for the latest vehicles will be installed at both the Hydrogen Office and the Fife Council vehicle depot at Bankhead in Glenrothes. Earlier this year, the Project received a £4 million funding package from the Scottish Government's Local Energy Challenge Fund.

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