North West Local Authority, St. Helens, has invested in the UK’s first actual OEM-built hydrogen fuel cell powered RCV, the FAUN BLUEPOWER, as part of a ten vehicle order.
FAUN-Zoeller UK, part of the Kirchhoff Group based in Germany, has developed the chassis in full technical and commercial collaboration with Daimler AG based in Stuttgart, South Germany is twinned with St Helens.
Trevor Nicoll, Assistant Director at St Helens, commented: ‘We are delighted to be the pioneering local authority on this project in the UK. With this partnership that involves not just the introduction of the vehicle, but the surrounding topics of skills, education and the development of decarbonisation in the community, it is the first major step for us on the green decarbonisation journey.’
Robust decarbonisation solution
Simon Hyde, Chief Executive of FZUK, added: ‘The company and group have invested heavily in the product since 2016 and are very well positioned in product performance, manufacturing capability and capacity, to provide a robust solution to the challenge of decarbonisation.
It was the intent to ensure that the product was entirely ready for launch in UK. I’m very proud that having seen over 30 units fully operational in Germany, France and Belgium, with outstanding results, combined with a vast £15m investment in a new, dedicated production facility for BLUEPOWER, it is more than ready for the UK. We are thrilled to be fully engaged with the forward-thinking team at St Helen’s and are looking forward to working on the programme ‘n the broader community.’
Stewart Gregory, Commercial Director, said: ‘The BLUEPOWER project has been a significant part of both group and FZUKs activity over the last five years, and we have recognised that it is not just about the vehicle. It’s the infrastructure and surrounding elements that are of equal importance. The collaboration between FZUK and St. Helens will address this. Together we will engage in an intense programme of skill and educational development for the community, the people and the staff to make sure that the introduction of the new technology is a smooth and seamless transition.’