The London Ambulance Service NHS Trust (LAS) could have a hydrogen-powered ambulance on the roads by autumn this year.
ULEMCo today (10th Feb) shared news of the project stating it has finalised designs of the vehicle and is now progressing to the prototype build stage.
The prototype stage incorporates a hydrogen fuel cell range extender with an electric drive, low frame chassis and bespoke lightweight ambulance body designed and manufactured by Woodall Nicholson Group’s Mellor, Promech Technologies and VCS Limited.
Working with ULEMCo and LAS are Lyra Electronics who bring specialist DC-DC electronics capability, and Ocado who hold experience of light-weighting and experience of the practical use of electric vehicles.
Promech Technologies is providing its existing battery technology solution and expertise.
“Given the energy need of the NHS ambulance duty cycle, it seems clear that hydrogen fuel is needed to provide both the range and vehicle availability for emergency response requirements”, said Amanda Lyne, Managing Director of ULEMCo.
“Working with Mellor, Promech Technologies and VCS Limited, we have the advantage of designing a bespoke ambulance based on their current battery technology vehicle platform. This has enabled us to apply our capability in integrating hydrogen fuel cell range extension systems, and to prove that this will be a really viable and practical solution for NHS fleets across the UK.”
Chris Rutherford, Head of Fleet Strategy & Transformation at LAS added, “This project is a key part of our strategy for a zero emission fleet, to support the NHS aim to be the world’s first net zero national health service, and to meet or exceed the clean air requirements in London.”
John Randerson, Chief Technology Officer at Woodall Nicholson, said: “We’re delighted that three of our companies have been selected to work alongside ULEMCo on the ZERRO project for LAS.”
“We have a proven track record in delivering innovative vehicle solutions in the Blue Light and passenger transport sectors. Through our Promech Technologies company, we continue to develop and expand our new energy expertise.”
“Hydrogen continues to play an increasingly important role in the energy mix,” said Dr Francesca Iudicello, Programme Manager – Automotive at Innovate UK.
“We are proud to support this important work and look forward to seeing the benefits of zero emission vehicles with a high readiness for service.”