A British First at St Helens!
The global decarbonisation programme is gaining momentum and has further advanced by a British first! As part of a ten-vehicle order, North West Local Authority, St Helens Borough Council, has invested in the UK’s first true OEM Hydrogen Fuel Cell powered Refuse Collection Vehicle, the FAUN BLUEPOWER.
FAUN-Zoeller UK, part of the Kirchhoff Group based in Germany, have developed the chassis in full technical and commercial collaboration with Daimler AG based in Stuttgart, South Germany, which coincidentally, is twinned with St Helens!
Cllr Andy Bowden, Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport at St Helens Borough Council commented: “We are delighted to be leading the way with such a pioneering project that is the first of its kind in the UK. The decarbonisation of our fleet is a key element of our net zero plan and this investment reinforces our commitment. This partnership will also see the roll out of a green skills and training programme. This will be available to our workforce, local colleges and businesses so that we can work with communities to prepare for the opportunities that new technologies like hydrogen present, and to get us to net zero by 2040.”
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 terms of 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 completely ready to launch in UK and I’m very proud that having seen over 30 units fully operational in Germany, France and Belgium, with outstanding results, combined with a huge £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 Helens and are looking forward to working on the programme in the wider 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 and 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.”