Vehicles handed over to hydrogen transport hub in Tees Valley

Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Mayor, driving a Toyota hydrogen-fuelled forklift.

Ten Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell electric cars and a Toyota fuel cell forklift truck were handed over to the Tees Valley Hydrogen Transport Hub on 27 January at the opening of the new Element 2 hydrogen fuelling station at Teesside International Airport, in Darlington.

As part of the Tees Valley Hydrogen Hub demonstration programme the airport has two Mirai and alongside other regional organisations it will be testing zero emission, hydrogen-fuelled commercial and support vehicles as part of a Department of Transport led £2.5 million region-wide trial.

Toyota is providing the hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles for use by the region’s rapid response services, including Cleveland Police, NHS patient support as well as the Combined Authority, Anglo American and Stagecoach.

In September 2020 the Government announced that Tees Valley would be home to the UK’s first Hydrogen Transport Hub, established in partnership with Teesside University. This will form an innovation campus focused on clean energy research and development. It will lead research, development, and testing of new hydrogen transport technologies in a range of vehicles.

Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Mayor, said: “The trial of these new vehicles and refuelling station is just one of many ground-breaking hydrogen initiatives taking place across Teesside, Hartlepool and Darlington right now, to understand its potential and pave the way for the cleaner, safer and healthier industries of the future.

“By proving these vehicles are efficient, easy to use and safe in a wide range of applications, we’re putting our region at the forefront of the hydrogen revolution – while showing that our airport is about much more than flights to Alicante.”

Brendan Bilton, Element 2’s Chief Technology Officer said: “For every 1kg of hydrogen fuel used, 3.7 litres of Diesel and 10kg of CO2 emissions are offset. The Tees Valley Hydrogen Hub will play a vital part in decarbonising the North East, local residents and workers will benefit from cleaner air and the hub will create more skilled jobs in the region. We want to encourage fleet owners and operators to take advantage of this opportunity. Together, we can make diesel history.”

James Clark, Toyota (GB) spokesperson said: “The provision of our Mirai hydrogen fuel cell cars and forklift from Toyota Material Handling to the Teesside Hydrogen Transport Hub is another step in the journey towards a hydrogen society. It’s great that they will be put to good use by support services, joining a growing range of industries and organisations that are already benefitting from zero-emission vehicles, and that can be speedily re-fuelled in just three minutes, with a driving range of approximately 300 miles.”