Arcola Energy New Manufacturing, Installation and Fleet Facility to Support Liverpool’s Hydrogen Buses

By April 18, 2019 5   min read  (747 words)

April 18, 2019 |

Arcola Energy New Facility Main
  • Arcola Energy to open Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Powertrain Manufacturing Installation and Fleet Support Facility in Liverpool City Region

Arcola Energy, a leading UK clean-tech business working in hydrogen and fuel cell technology, has secured 15,000 sqft newly-built premises for expansion in to the Liverpool City Region borough of Knowsley.

The new premises will house the company’s manufacturing, installation and maintenance facility. It will have the capability to build, install and service hundreds of zero-emission vehicle powertrain systems in the first year of operation. In recognition of the rapid ongoing expansion in both the battery and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle market, sufficient space has been acquired to quickly expand to thousands of systems per year. As part of the expansion, Arcola Energy will also be upgrading existing powertrain development facilities in Hackney, London.

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Mock-ups of Arcola Energy’s hydrogen fuel cell powertrain manufacturing, installation and maintenance facility in Knowsley, Liverpool City Region

Arcola Energy supports vehicle manufacturers (OEMs) to develop, manufacture and deploy zero-emission commercial vehicles and has a 10 year track-record in hydrogen & fuel cell system research & development and engineering. Capabilities span complete vehicle systems, from hydrogen refueller to wheels, including safety and manufacturing, working in partnership with leading global hydrogen & fuel cell suppliers.

The manufacturing area of the new site will first be used to produce and install hydrogen fuel cell systems in a fleet of double-deck buses to be deployed in Liverpool City Region supported by a £6.4million award from UK Central Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles. The buses have been developed through a partnership between Arcola Energy and Alexander Dennis, the UK’s largest bus manufacturer and the largest double-deck bus manufacturer in the world.

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Walking the floor at Arcola Energy’s new manufacturing & aftermarket facility in Liverpool City Region. Liverpool City Region leaders with the first prototype hydrogen bus which was successfully tested on Route 10 St Helens to Liverpool in March 2019: (left to right) Joe Anderson (Liverpool), Rob Polhill (Halton), Ian Maher (Sefton), Phil Davies (Wirral), Steve Rotheram (City Region), Derek Long (St Helens), Graham Morgan (Knowsley).

The aftermarket area of the facility will first be used as the main hub for maintenance control and commissioning of the existing and expanded future fleet of the Renault Kangoo ZE H2 vans across the UK. This is a Renault-approved Kangoo ZE fitted with a Symbio Hydrogen fuel cell and is currently the only commercially-available hydrogen fuel cell commercial vehicle in the UK.

Alongside buses and vans, the new facility will support production and aftermarket support of systems for trucks, trains, off-highway vehicles and marine vessels.

As with all Arcola Energy activities, the new site will support training and education in clean energy technologies, working with local schools and businesses to help build skills and awareness of future high-value jobs in zero-emission technologies. The Arcola Energy Education programme has enabled over 70,000 young people from Aberdeen to Abu Dhabi to Indonesia to build and race their own mini-hydrogen fuelled vehicles.

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Young people taking part in an Arcola Energy Education programme learning about the latest hydrogen fuelled vehicles (shown the Toyota Mirai) and building their own hydrogen fuelled vehicles.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “The Liverpool City Region is at the forefront of green technology with a low carbon sector worth more than £2 billion to our economy, employing 22,000 people. We will be the first place in the North of England to trial hydrogen buses, following a successful £6.4 million bid to the government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles, and I am delighted that Arcola Energy, one of the partners in the project, has chosen to create its manufacturing and fleet support facility in our area”.

Dale Milburn, Executive Director, Regeneration & Economic Development at Knowsley Council said “We are delighted to welcome Arcola Energy to join the flourishing high-tech and automotive manufacturing business cluster in Knowsley, creating growth and high quality employment for local people. Arcola Energy’s arrival is further recognition of Knowsley as the prime location for business investment”.

Dr Ben Todd, CEO of Arcola Energy said, “I look forward to working with all of our partners across the Liverpool City Region and beyond to contribute to delivering the clean air aspirations of the city region. On a personal note, I am delighted to be returning to my childhood home, fulfilling my dream of 20 years ago to build a clean-tech business in Liverpool city region”.

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