British Gas fleet investigates hydrogen vehicle switch

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29th November 2022

British Gas parent company Centrica and Ryze Hydrogen have agreed to develop, and operate, hydrogen production and refuelling facilities. Among the initial projects under consideration will be investigating solutions for converting some of the British Gas fleet to hydrogen.

Parent company Centrica says that this will include refuelling infrastructure, locations and van technology. William Mezzullo, Centrica’s head of hydrogen, said: “Low carbon hydrogen will play a major role in decarbonising our energy systems. “It enables the increased use of renewable and low carbon electricity by offering the potential for storage in quantities that provide long term resilience and another choice for decarbonising hard to electrify sectors.”

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed, with the pair saying they want to target the mobility, industrial and commercial markets. Under the agreement, Centrica and Ryze will jointly develop hydrogen production projects on existing Centrica sites and work with third-parties to build production on their sites too. In addition, the partnership will explore how the UK can work with international hydrogen production facilities to move low-cost renewable power converted to hydrogen and hydrogen derivates to areas of high demand. Mezzullo said: “We should be bold in our thinking, the UK should aim to be a net exporter of hydrogen, providing high quality green jobs, additional revenues for the UK treasury and a lower cost of transitioning to net zero for homeowners and businesses.”

Jo Bamford, executive chairman of Ryze, says Centrica is committed to making hydrogen a valuable component of its net-zero strategy. He continued: “We are incredibly excited to share our vision for growth with an energy giant such as Centrica. “The projects we have already discussed will be game-changing for the green hydrogen economy and will underline why hydrogen is such an important resource for the UK and the rest of the world in the fight against climate change.”

The announcement comes after Air Products made a £6.5 million investment in a hydrogen trailer and cylinder filling station at its Llanwern hydrogen facility in South Wales.

The hydrogen filling station, which is expected to be onstream in spring 2023, will make an additional 1.5 tonnes of fuel-cell-grade hydrogen available daily to serve the transport and energy transition market, with capacity to serve a fleet of 100 buses or 50 trucks.

Stellantis has also committed to scaling up production of the Peugeot Expert, Citroen Dispatch and Vauxhall Vivaro fuel cell light commercial vehicles to an industrial level.

The group has invested in its Hordain plant, in France, giving a production capacity of 5,000 hydrogen-powered vehicles per year, by 2024.

The vans will be built alongside electric and diesel models.

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