Connect Plus Services (CPS), the company which operates and maintains the M25 on behalf of Highways England and Connect Plus, the M25’s design, build, finance and operations consortium comprising Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK, has teamed up with Toyota to trial a hydrogen fuel-cell car on the M25 network.
Utilising the expertise of Balfour Beatty’s Plant and Fleet business, who arranged temporary procurement of the vehicle, a Toyota Mirai, CPS has successfully trialled the world’s first commercially produced hydrogen-powered vehicle to operate on a live highways maintenance network. The vehicle carried out daily motorway safety inspections during a two week trial that took place in September.
The trial results will now be assessed and, if positive, it is envisioned that CPS will roll out the use of hydrogen-fuel vehicles across its fleet of 12 cars that carry out motorway safety inspections on the strategic road network.
Fuel-cell technology in vehicles converts pressurised hydrogen gas, stored in built-in tanks, into energy that powers an electric motor. The only waste product is water, providing significant benefits for the environment and road user’s wellbeing when compared to the environmental footprint left by petrol and diesel fueled cars. The use of a hydrogen car also offers savings in reduced fuel costs.
Brian Johns, Managing Director of Connect Plus Services, said: “We are delighted to have trialled the hydrogen powered Toyota Mirai on our network. This is a prime example of how we are embracing new technology to deliver our contract to the highest standard.
“Through continuous innovation, we are committed to developing cost effective and environmentally friendly solutions to drive the network forward and create better journeys for the travelling public.”
Jon Hunt, Manager of Alternative Fuels at Toyota, added: “We are delighted to support this trial to demonstrate that the Mirai, with a quick refill time and long range is a no-compromise zero emission solution.”