ULEMCo, the UK hydrogen commercial vehicle conversion company, said to deliver its hydrogen-powered prototype ambulance to the London Ambulance Service NHS Trust (LAS) later this year.
The company is developing the vehicle under the project ZERRO (Zero Emission Rapid Response Operations) which is funded by the Office for Zero-Emission Vehicles (OZEV).
ULEMCo told H2 Bulletin that the vehicle would be powered by the combination of a 30kW fuel cell from Ballard, with 8kg of onboard H2 storage and 400 V DC 92kWh battery power. This is targeted to allow for an average daily range of 200 miles, a top speed of 90 mph and a payload of at least 900 kg.
H2 Bulletin was also informed that the project aims to show that this weight target can be met using the powertrain configuration and the lightweight structure, and using a low floor design rather than needing to include heavy lifting equipment, alongside work to integrate the internal electrical power needs within overall vehicle electrical system design.
The project is now moving to the prototype build stage. This will incorporate a hydrogen fuel cell range extender with an electric drive, low frame chassis and bespoke lightweight ambulance body designed. These would be produced by Woodall Nicholson Group’s Mellor, Promech Technologies and VCS Limited. Promech Technologies is providing its existing battery technology solution and expertise. Lyra Electronics and Ocado will deliver their specialist DC-DC electronics, and light-weighting expertise respectively.
Amanda Lyne, Managing Director of ULEMCo., Said: “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.”
Previously ULEMCo worked with partners JCB and Bucher Municipal to produce a new road sweeper for Aberdeen City Council that demonstrates the ability to use hydrogen fuel in both the primary engine and the auxiliary engine powering the ancillary equipment.
Last year, its secured an order with Scottland’s James A Cuthbertson Ltd to transform Glasgow City Council’s 20 gritter /multi-purpose vehicles be hydrogen-powered.