ULEMCo, the UK hydrogen fuel pioneer, and their partners have delivered the first significant milestone to create the zero emission ambulance of the future. The project, named ZERRO for Zero Emission Rapid Response Operations ambulance, is funded by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV), and aims to deliver a prototype zero emission ambulance for the London Ambulance Service NHS Trust (LAS) by autumn this year.
ULEMCo is leading the project, and with its partners has achieved an agreed design for the hydrogen powered ambulance. This is now progressing to the prototype build stage, which incorporates a hydrogen fuel cell range extender with an electric drive, low frame chassis and bespoke lightweight ambulance body designed and manufactured by Woodall Nicholson Group’s Mellor, Promech Technologies and VCS Limited. It incorporates features to address the specific requirements for a zero emission ambulance of the future. These include innovations such as a low access floor that removes the need for patient lifting equipment, and a frame-based body that ensures that the overall weight of the vehicle can meet the payload requirements of the service.
Working with ULEMCo and LAS are Lyra Electronics who bring their specialist DC-DC electronics capability, and Ocado with their experience of light-weighting and experience of the practical use of electric vehicles. Promech Technologies is providing its existing battery technology solution and expertise.
The ZERRO project has marked its first birthday with the sign off of the new design. As it now moves to the build phase, the plan is to have the working prototype fully CEN approved and ready for testing in London by the autumn.