ULEMCo, Teesside International Airport, RAF Leeming, and Newcastle University are joining forces on the effort that aims to decarbonise the 7.5-tonne support vehicles under the name project ZeHyDA.

The hydrogen support vehicle work marks the first mobile application of ULEMCo’s zero emission hydrogen engine technology which it unveiled in 2019. Tests of the technology for the new application will be carried out in collaboration with the University of Newcastle.

Commenting on the news, Amanda Lyne, Managing Director of ULEMCo, said, “We are delighted to be able to build on the success of our 100% hydrogen static genset engine with this mobile vehicle.

“Airport ground support vehicles are yet another niche application that can benefit from decarbonisation using hydrogen, without the delay of building a nationwide hydrogen infrastructure.”

The project will also see the engine work with an electric drivetrain system and be demonstrated as part of the Tees Valley Hydrogen Transport Hub in ground support vehicles, alongside work to assess the wider opportunity for use of hydrogen at airports and in the region.

Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Mayor, added, “After celebrating our 80th birthday this year, we want Teesside International Airport to continue not only to provide a brilliant experience for our passengers, but to spearhead new initiatives and be at the forefront of airport innovation.

“Converting our ground support vehicles to hydrogen will help boost our clean energy credentials as part of the UK’s first Hydrogen Transport Hub, maintain our local air quality and drive the UK’s net zero ambitions.”

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