The Anonymous Widower

£77 Million Investment For UK Heavy Duty And Commercial Vehicle Projects

The title of this post is the same as that of this press release from the Advanced Propulsion Centre.

These are the projects.

Ford to design, develop, and build a fleet of 8 hydrogen fuel cell powered Transit vans, with the latest advances in technology

£8 million awarded by government, matched by industry to a total £16.3 million.

This research project will design and develop a hydrogen fuel cell-powered version of the Ford Transit van, with a Ford Dagenham estate facility re-purposed for upfitting of the vehicle. By bringing the manufacturer, vehicle operator and supply chain businesses together, this project aims to establish a business case for the wider rollout of hydrogen Light Commercial Vehicles.

Project partners include: Ocado, BP, Cygnet Texkimp, Cambustion, Viritech.


  1. I suspect Ocado will do the road testing.
  2. BP will probably supply the hydrogen.
  3. Cygnet Texkimp are a company based in Northwich and is a leading global provider of fibre handling and converting technology. Have they developed a machine for knitting hydrogen fuel tanks?
  4. Cambustion‘s Engineering Services team provides powertrain development and testing services to a range of global clients from our Cambridge, UK base.
  5. Viritech’s web site has a mission statement of Rewiring the DNA of Hydrogen Powertrains.

Ford seem to have assembled a team of all the talents.

Wrightbus to develop a new world-leading zero-emission battery and hydrogen fuel-cell electric, multi-axle vehicles

£6.4 million awarded by government, matched by industry to a total £12.7 million.

This project will produce a new, market-leading platform for battery and fuel cell electric driven buses. Whilst demand is growing for zero-emission vehicles, there are currently few options available for heavy, multi-axle vehicles like large buses.

Project partners include: Queens University Belfast, Grayson Thermal Systems, Hutchinson Engineering, Translink.


  1. Grayson Thermal Systems are based in Birmingham and specialise in providing HVAC for vehicles and especially zero-carbon ones.
  2. Hutchinson Engineering are based in Widnes and invest in state-of-the-art machinery and technology to give our customers the most advanced, cost-effective solutions in design, fabrication and manufacturing.
  3. Translink provides public transport in Northern Ireland.

It looks like Wrightbus have excellent partners.

ULEMCo creating a zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell range extender for prototype ambulance, fire engine and road sweepers

£3.9 million awarded by government, matched by industry to a total £7.9 million.

This project will develop a hydrogen fuel cell range extender for electric vehicles used for special purposes, such as ambulances, fire engines and street sweepers. The zero-emissions range extender will be based on existing, proven technology from the Toyota Mirai, and demonstrate how zero emissions vehicles can be used in a wide range of specialised and challenging settings.

Project partners include: Altair Engineering, Emergency One, Technical Services Ltd, Oxon Fire & Rescue Services


  1. ULEMCo are based in the Liverpool City Region and it is very much in Liverpudlian DNA to repurpose something that works. Hence the use of The Toyota technology.
  2. Altair Engineering is a multinational engineering and technology company.
  3. Emergency One is a Scottish manufacturer of fire engines and emergency vehicles.
  4. Technical Services Ltd, who are based in Cleckheaton, supply thermal management systems and solutions.
  5. Oxon Fire & Rescue Services will obviously be doing the testing.

In Hydrogen-Powered Ambulance Drives Into Glasgow Ahead Of London Trial, I wrote about a prototype hydrogen-powered ambulance, that was built by ULEMCo and industry partners, that was shown at COP26.

Is this project turning the prototype into a system, that can be manufactured in large volumes?

Bramble Energy developing a hydrogen double-deck bus, using innovative, low-cost fuel cell technology

£6.3 million awarded by government, matched by industry to a total £12.7 million.

This project will demonstrate a fuel cell/battery hybrid powertrain on a double-decker bus. This novel product will be cheaper than the equivalents currently available for large vehicles like buses and uses innovative new electronics and energy recovery technologies.

Project partners include: University of Bath, Equipmake, Aeristech


  1. Bramble Energy‘s Printed Circuit Board Fuel Cell (PCBFC™) is a patent protected, revolutionary design which leverages existing manufacturing routes from the printed circuit board industry to offer a cost-effective, scalable hydrogen fuel cell solution.
  2.  Equipmake are based at Snetterton in Norfolk.
  3. In Equipmake Hybrid To Battery Powered LT11, I describe Equipmake’s conversion of a New Routemaster to battery operation.
  4. Aeristech are based in Crawley and have developed a range of award-winning compressors for Tier-1, OEMs and other customers.
  5. Is the compressor needed to pump a mixture of hydrogen and air through the fuel cell?

I have a feeling, that this could be a very revolutionary design.

BorgWarner developing hydrogen combustion systems for heavy-duty commercial transport

£4.9 million awarded by government, matched by industry to a total £9.8 million.

This project aims to speed up the rollout of hydrogen-burning internal combustion engines, as an alternative to diesel. Hydrogen is a clean fuel, producing only water when burned. Project Cavendish will develop new fuel and air management systems, so that existing heavy duty diesel technologies can be repurposed to use hydrogen as fuel.

Project partners include: Mahle, Cambustion, Hartridge


  1. BorgWarner is a large American automotive supplier.
  2. Mahle is a large German automotive supplier.
  3. Cambustion‘s Engineering Services team provides powertrain development and testing services to a range of global clients from our Cambridge, UK base.
  4. Since the brand formation in 1930 Hartridge, who are based in Buckingham, has become a world leader in diesel fuel injection test equipment.
  5. Project Cavendish is obviously named after Henry Cavendish, who discovered hydrogen.

In Ricardo Supports Industry Leaders To Develop Innovative Dedicated Hydrogen Engine, I talk about another project involving BorgWarner. Is Project Cavendish a follow-on from the original project or a new one?

Leyland Trucks scaling up the production of electric trucks through innovations in automation and advanced testing

£2.6 million awarded by government, matched by industry to a total £5.1 million.

By better use of automation and advanced testing, Leyland Trucks aim to increase productivity and step up their production of battery electric trucks. A ‘digital twin’ of the Leyland production line will be set up, meaning any changes can be run in simulation before being rolled out physically.

Project partners include: Expert Tooling, HSSMI


  1. Leyland Trucks is one of Britain’s leading manufacturing companies. It is PACCAR’s established centre for light and medium duty truck design, development and manufacture. The company is based in Leyland.
  2. Expert Technologies are specialists in delivering industrial automation solutions. The company is based in Coventry.
  3. HSSMI is a sustainable manufacturing consultancy.

As I have done a lot of simulation in my time, I’m very much in favour of digital twins.

JLR leading a consortium research project to develop a high-efficiency and highly integrated 800V inverter designed and built in the UK

£6.3 million awarded by government, matched by industry to a total £12.6 million.

This project will explore and develop technology for inverters – a key component in electric vehicles. As well as developing a best-in-class product, this work will support the growth of a UK supply chain in components for electric vehicles.

Project partners include: University of Bristol, Custom Interconnect Ltd, API Capacitors Ltd


  1. JLR is Jaguar Land Rover.
  2. Custom Interconnect is an advanced electronics manufacturing company, which is based in Andover.
  3. API Capacitors is the UK’s leading designer and manufacturer of high quality power capacitors for power electronic applications. The company is based in Great Yarmouth.

I suspect this invertor will have several applications.


The grants seem to have been widely spread around the UK.



May 9, 2023 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ricardo Supports Industry Leaders To Develop Innovative Dedicated Hydrogen Engine

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Ricardo.

This is the sub-heading.

Ricardo, a global strategic, environmental, and engineering consulting company, has delivered a hydrogen-fuelled research engine to global engine specialist Cummins and automotive supplier BorgWarner, as part of Project BRUNEL part funded by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC)

These four paragraphs outline the project.

Cummins is a global specialist in diesel and alternative fuel engines and generators, and related components and technology. BorgWarner is an automotive tier 1 supplier and specialist in the design and manufacture of systems for electrified and conventional propulsion types, that includes injection equipment for conventional and renewable fuels. BorgWarner recently announced the intention to spin off its Fuel Systems segment. The intended company name is PHINIA Inc. PHINIA is expected to be a product leader in fuel systems, starters, alternators and aftermarket distribution.

The project aims to support internal combustion engine (ICE) sub-system suppliers to increase their use of hydrogen as an alternative zero-emissions fuel solution across the light commercial vehicle market.

The engine is specifically designed to burn only hydrogen – with no supporting fuels that could give rise to any carbonaceous, or excessive air quality emissions.

Experts in hydrogen technology and integration, Ricardo has provided an engine based upon its world-renowned series of single cylinder research units, which can help the research teams evaluate a wide variety of fuels. The engine is designed to help engineers evaluate a variety of injector types and will support increased fuel efficiency, reduced air quality emissions and the move towards carbon-free heavy-duty propulsion.

Reports of the death of the internal combustion engine are greatly exaggerated.

The Aims Of The Project

This talks about the light commercial market, which for Cummins means, that this engine could be a replacement for their B Series engine, which is described in Wikipedia like this.

In production since 1984, the B series engine family is intended for multiple applications on and off-highway, light-duty, and medium-duty. In the automotive industry, it is best known for its use in school buses, public service buses (most commonly the Dennis Dart and the Alexander Dennis Enviro400) in the United Kingdom, and Dodge/Ram pickup trucks.

A version is also used in London’s New Routemaster buses.

Speculation About A Hydrogen-Powered Dodge Ram Pickup

This article on Mopar Insiders is entitled Next-Gen Ram Heavy Duty Could Feature Cummins Hydrogen Powerplant!

It has this sub-heading.

Fast Refuel Times, Extended Range, & Zero-Emissions…

Sounds great for wide open spaces.

I’ve also read in an interview with a retiring Cummins Executive, who said that Dodge RAM trucks are being converted to hydrogen by enthusiasts.

Could New Routemasters Be Converted To Hydrogen?

In the Wikipedia entry for the Cummins B Series engine, this is said about the engine in a New Routemaster.

The 4.5L ISB is essentially a four-cylinder, two-thirds version of the 6.7L ISB rated at 185 hp (138 kW), used in the New Routemaster, a series hybrid diesel-electric doubledecker bus in London.

Having worked in the Cummins factory at Darlington, I know they are happy to produce specials for a particular application, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a hydrogen-powered New Routemaster created by an engine and fuel system transplant.


The tie-up between Cummins, BorgWarner and Ricardo could be significant.

American power with a touch of Sussex finesse.


March 26, 2023 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 2 Comments