Transport Minister Trudy Harrison MP has today (31 August) visited Teesside Airport to learn more about the £2.5million hydrogen vehicle trial taking place at the site.
The region became the UK’s first pilot area to test vehicles fitted with 100% hydrogen zero emission engines in August last year, with the airport taking on a ground support tug which tows aircraft, two Toyota vehicles, a forklift and Kangoo light van.
Due to the success of the scheme – which also includes hydrogen vehicles used by the region’s rapid response services – Element 2 has also installed a hydrogen refuelling station at the airport. Until its launch, the nearest place hydrogen vehicles could refuel was nearly 100 miles away in Rotherham.
In September 2020 it was announced that Tees Valley would be home to the UK’s first Hydrogen Transport Hub. The hub, in partnership with Teesside University, will form an innovation campus focused on clean energy research and development. It will lead research, development, and testing of new hydrogen transport technologies including for cars, buses, trains, lorries, boats and planes.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen met the Minister during his visit and highlighted how the hydrogen vehicle pilot formed a key part of the area’s wider clean energy agenda. Firms such as bp and Kellas Midstream have committed to create hydrogen production facilities in the Tees Valley, and Northern Gas Networks is pioneering research into using hydrogen in the domestic gas network in the region.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “It was great to welcome Trudy to the airport and show her how safe, reliable and easy to use these hydrogen vehicles are, and how they’re supporting our day-to-day operations effectively.
“I want Teesside to be the first hydrogen-ready airport and by proving these vehicles can be used across a range of applications, we’re one step closer to doing that – while showing that our airport is about more than just flights to Alicante.
“We’re leading the UK in the cleaner, safer and healthier industries of the future and, as our region already produces around half of the UK’s hydrogen, we’re well-placed for this and future projects from massive international companies that will drive forward the low-carbon agenda and – vitally – create good-quality, well-paid jobs for local people for years to come.”