Bright Green Hydrogen has invested in 10 Renault HyKangoo vans from Symbio FCell and five Ford Transits on behalf of the Levenmouth Community Energy Project, whose partners include Toshiba, the Japanese industrial conglomerate.
The Levenmouth project – which secured £4 million from the Scottish Government’s Local Energy Fund – aims to position Levenmouth as a global leader in clean energy through developing the Hydrogen Office Project in Methil into a world-class demonstrator of hydrogen applications, generated from renewable sources.
This includes creating a fleet of up to 25 hydrogen dual-fuel vehicles with refuelling points being installed in Methil and Glenrothes.
Operational data collected from the Toshiba control system, from the vehicles, and from the hydrogen refuellers will be used to study and optimise the efficiency of the scheme.
The fleet of hydrogen vehicles are due to come into operation by mid-2016 and will become the focus of a major data-collating programme that will enable the cost-benefit of such vehicles to be better understood.
Stephen Stead, Business Tevelopment Director at Toshiba, explained: “It is important that we capitalise on projects such as Levenmouth to pave the way for a cleaner, more environmentally-friendly society for generations to come.”
George Archibald, Chief Executive, Bright Green Hydrogen – which operates the Hydrogen Office Project – said: “This is another key landmark for the project which is continuing to evolve in line with the partners’ ambitions.
“By providing a substantial range extension using hydrogen, the vehicles will perform a crucial part in generating significant environmental and economic benefits for the region by bringing low-carbon motoring within the reach of business users without limitations on daily travel.”
The electric Kangoo vans would normally have an operational range of around 100 miles. But under the project, this range will be doubled through a supplementary tank of hydrogen being fitted to the vehicles that recharges the battery continually through a fuel cell device.
The Ford vans and the refuse vehicles are powered via a combination of hydrogen and diesel mixed in the engine manifold, with hydrogen stored in supplementary fuel tanks installed underneath the vehicle.