FIRE engines powered by hydrogen have taken a step closer to being on Oxfordshire roads following the conclusion of research.

The zero emission vehicles meet current requirements for flexibility, emergency response and water pumping, according to the firm behind them.

Hydrogen fuel engineering company, ULEMCo, partnered with Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service in August.

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The findings could lead to a rollout of the fire engines across the UK.

In an update online, ULEMCo posted: “As part of the project, the existing fire station locations in Oxfordshire were assessed, and options proposed for hydrogen refuelling locations that would not only allow the engines to refuel cost effectively, but also provide facility for the rest of the Oxfordshire public sector fleet. 

“The key was finding locations where consolidated demand would be over 200kg a day, so that hydrogen infrastructure investors would be able to supply hydrogen at a price/kg similar to existing fuels and ownership cost models.”

thisisoxfordshire: CGI image of the fire engine powered by hydrogen. Picture provided by Oxfordshire County CouncilCGI image of the fire engine powered by hydrogen. Picture provided by Oxfordshire County Council

The next steps with the project are to secure funding to build a prototype, ULEMCo’s managing director Amanda Lyne, said.

Pete Sudbury, Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for climate change delivery and environment, said: “This clever combination of battery power with hydrogen fuel cell range extender is excellent news for those of us who are optimistic that hydrogen could play an important role in the decarbonisation process.

“Moving heavy duty vehicles like fire engines away from fossil fuels is a difficult challenge, so this is an important step in exploring and advancing zero carbon solutions.”

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This story was written by Liam Rice, he joined the team in 2019 as a multimedia reporter.

Liam covers politics, travel and transport. He occasionally covers Oxford United.

Get in touch with him by emailing:

Follow him on Twitter @OxMailLiamRice

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