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Hydrogen fuel-cell bus project enters manufacturing phase

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Bramble Energy, in partnership with Equipmake, Aeristech and the University of Bath, has announced the completion of concept designs for, and move into the manufacturing phase of, a hydrogen system and double-decker bus.

The Hydrogen Electric Integrated Drivetrain Initiative (HEIDI) project is funded by the Advanced Propulsion Centre UK as part of the Automotive Transformation Fund.

Bramble Energy, with its partners, will now move into the next phase of HEIDI, manufacturing key components, including the fuel-cell stack, fuel-cell system and hydrogen storage.

The project, which is expected to save nearly 6 million tonnes of CO2 from being emitted, aims to develop a first-of-its-kind hydrogen double-deck bus integrating Bramble Energy’s printed circuit board fuel cell (PCBFC) technology.

So far, the HEIDI project has successfully completed the concept designs for the fuel-cell system, hydrogen storage, and the bus itself.

Bramble’s fuel-cell design has enabled the bus to maintain a capacity of 86 passengers, a standard similar to current London double-deckers, without compromising service for system installation.

Resultant simulation predict a range of up to 280 miles on UK bus routes using 350 bar hydrogen.

This reportedly surpasses the typical daily distance of London buses (100-200 miles) and offers refuelling times similar to diesel or petrol alternatives (around eight minutes).

Vidal Bharath, CCO at Bramble Energy, said: “This new milestone for HEIDI brings us one step closer to revolutionising public transport with our innovative PCBFC technology providing a viable path to net-zero emissions for commercial vehicles."

“By integrating our fuel-cell stacks into the hydrogen double-deck bus, we are not only advancing sustainable transport but also supporting nearly 500 jobs and aiming to prevent nearly six million tonnes of CO2 emissions over the next decade," he added.