Ricardo looking to scalable ‘fuel cell module’ in Tees Valley project

Graphic of Ricardo Bus

Engineering and consulting company Ricardo, which recently won a bid with Stagecoach to retrofit a hydrogen fuel cell bus demonstrator for the UK’s first hydrogen transport hub, says it is looking at a scalable “fuel cell module” as a solution to the zero-emission transition.

Ricardo says a modular solution would allow it to be installed to multiple single and double-decker platforms. The concept could be saleable as a “new fuel cell” module to coachbuilders, allowing them to take rolling chassis and apply the new fuel cell module and coach-built body together.

The announcement comes after the government initiated a competition to showcase hydrogen transport solutions in support of its newly published Hydrogen Strategy. A joint bid by Ricardo and Stagecoach was selected as winner and has been awarded funding to build a one-off vehicle for demonstration in the Tees Valley Hydrogen Transport Hub from February 2022.

Teri Hawksworth, Managing Director for Ricardo Automotive and Industrial Division says: “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.”

Adds Stagecoach North East Managing Director Steve Walker: “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 forward for the Tees Valley.

“Stagecoach has invested more than £1billion in greener buses in the past decade and is fully committed to reducing its environmental impact. Our collaboration to help with technical knowledge and extensive driver testing for the inception of this new technology is a further demonstration of our desire to help climate change.”