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Sussex: Ricardo to engineer zero emission buses for UK’s first hydrogen transport hub

By Karolina Skinner
19 August 2021

Ricardo plc, a major environmental and engineering company with UK headquarters in Shoreham-by-Sea in West Sussex, is among five winners of a £2.5 million research and development (R&D) Department for Transport competition to accelerate the use of hydrogen transport.

The funding follows the unveiling of an official masterplan for the UK’s first-ever hydrogen transport hub in the Tees Valley in the North East, which could be fully operational by 2025.

Ricardo submitted a bid with Stagecoach, one of the UK’s main public transport operators, to demonstrate a retrofit hydrogen fuel cell bus.

The Ricardo and Stagecoach bid has been awarded funding to build a one-off vehicle which will be available for demonstration in the Tees Valley Hydrogen Hub from February 2022. Ricardo will be developing the hydrogen bus in its technical centre in Shoreham.

The other winners of competition are Toyota, HV Systems, and Element Energy in collaboration with Sainsbury’s.

Teri Hawksworth, Managing Director for Ricardo Automotive and Industrial (EMEA) Division, said: "National and Local Government Authorities across the UK are bringing forward their zero emissions targets to 2030. This creates challenges for bus operators who, while still grappling with the financial challenges of the global pandemic, are committed to transitioning to zero emission vehicles. 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."

Steve Walker, Stagecoach North East Managing Director, said: "Introducing new low emission technologies to reduce air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions is key to achieving our environmental goals. We are delighted to be working with Ricardo to bring this exciting advancement to the UK’s first hydrogen hub. 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." 

About Ricardo

Listed on the London Stock Exchange, Ricardo is a global strategic engineering and environmental consultancy that specialises in the transport, energy and scarce resources sectors.

Its work extends across a range of market sectors – including passenger cars, commercial vehicles, rail, defence, motorsport, energy and environment – and its client list includes transport operators, manufacturers, energy companies, financial institutions and government agencies.

Ricardo employs over 2,900 engineers, scientists and consultants across a global network of technical centres and client offices.