Ulemco, a hydrogen fuel pioneer, is partnering with its government partners to produce specialized hydrogen-fueled vehicles that have been designed to be more efficient.
As part of a collaboration between Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) and its Fire and Rescue Service, ULEMCo will design a fuel cell electric drivetrain configuration for zero emission fire apparatus.
This project will take eight months and is called HySPERT – for HYdrogen Special Purpose Electric Vehicle Platform for waste collection and fire trucks. Innovate UK provided the funding under its Transition to Zero Emissions programme.
A key priority of the project will be developing a deeper understanding of the specific duty cycles for emergency service vehicles that need a high state of readiness 24 hours a day, and enough energy to run continuously for a period of four to 40 hours. Amongst the many areas in which fire services utilize this type of vehicle, there are urban and rural ones.
The goal of this effort is to develop a comprehensive understanding and detailed model of the current energy requirement. Among the factors that will be considered are the energy requirement to pump water for at least four hours, as well as the ideal range. Over the course of the project, the test process will collect real world data about the performance of an OEM fuel cell.
The goal of ULEMCo is to design an optimised fuel cell electric powertrain for the Fire and Rescue Service along with a detailed engineered design for a prototype vehicle. The next stage of the development will involve constructing the prototype physically.
Oxfordshire County Council is working towards becoming a net zero carbon local authority by 2030.
“We are excited to be working on this important initiative to plan the future of specialised utility vehicles such as fire tenders”, said Amanda Lyne, Managing Director of ULEMCo. “Hydrogen has tremendous potential for enabling zero emission vehicles in the short term.”
The Oxfordshire County Council plans to develop a hydrogen refuelling plan alongside the study, which will complement the overall county-wide plans to develop a hydrogen infrastructure.