Ballard Power Systems has received follow-on purchase orders for 15 of its 85 kW heavy-duty FCveloCity-HD fuel cell modules from Wrightbus, a bus OEM and Ballard partner headquartered in Northern Ireland, to power fuel cell electric buses (FCEBs), planned for deployment in the U.K.
Wrightbus was recently re-capitalized by Bamford Bus Co. after having gone into administration last year.
Including the 15 modules, Ballard currently has orders in hand from Wrightbus for a total of 50 modules to power FCEBs in the U.K., 35 of which were previously announced in 2019. Of those 35 modules, 20 are to power buses planned for deployment in London ,and 15 are for buses planned for deployment in Aberdeen. Ballard expects to ship all 50 modules this year.
Earlier this year, the U.K. Government’s Department for Transport (DfT) announced a 5-year, £5 billion ($6.4 billion) plan to enhance bus and bicycle infrastructure in the country, together with deployment of at least 4,000 zero-emission buses, with further details expected in a National Bus Strategy to be published later this year. The case for using sustainably produced hydrogen in transportation to further the U.K.’s climate and air quality objectives is presented in a June 2020 report from The Center for Policy Studies, titled “Driving Change: How hydrogen can fuel a transport revolution.”
“Cities around the world are seeing massive reductions in air pollution as many vehicles have been kept off the road during the pandemic. However, the reality is that if we just go back to how public transport has traditionally been run, levels of pollution will quickly rise again to the same levels as before the crisis,” says Jo Bamford, owner of Wrightbus.
“We have an opportunity to build hydrogen-powered buses that will make a huge difference to air quality, as well as generating U.K. jobs. Therefore, our organization is strongly encouraging DfT to provide funding support for the deployment of 3,000 FCEBs as part of the U.K.’s National Bus Strategy,” he adds.
Ballard, Wrightbus and Ryse Hydrogen are founding members of the H2Bus Consortium, announced in June 2019 and focused on the deployment of at least 1,000 zero-emission FCEBs and related infrastructure in European cities at commercially competitive rates. Ryse Hydrogen is working toward the creation of a green hydrogen ecosystem for the production, distribution and dispensing of clean hydrogen fuel.