Hydrogen-powered electric vehicles are set to replace Sheffield highway maintenance contractor Amey’s diesel vehicles.
The contractor currently has two electric vans and is planning to run another 15 electric vehicles as part of its commitment to reduce carbon emissions in the city.
The contractor is also trialling two vans that use a hydrogen fuel cell to extend the vehicles’ battery life to nearly 200 miles.
Councillor Bryan Lodge, the cabinet member for Environment and Street Scene, said: “It’s great to see that [Amey] is mirroring the council’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions in the city and clean up the air that we all breathe.”
The Streets Ahead contract, steered by Amey, will see the upgrade of the city’s roads, pavements, street lights and bridges on behalf of the council.
The plan has however come under fire as it has led to a number of trees in the city being cut down.
According to the city council, trees will only be replaced if they are either dead, dying, diseased, dangerous, damaging footpaths, private property or roads or obstructing pavements.
Tom Cullingford, Streets Ahead Environment Manager, said: “At the moment, there are only 20 to 30 hydrogen vehicles in the country and technology is at a very early stage.
“But the obvious benefit is that there are zero carbon emissions which will help improve the air quality in and around Sheffield.”
Hydrogen-powered vehicles could play a part in reducing levels of nitrous oxides and particulates as part of Sheffield’s commitment to an ‘Air Quality Management Zone.’
The city council also recently added five hydrogen-powered vehicles to its fleet following the launch of its clean air strategy.
Councillor Jack Scott, the cabinet member for Transport and Sustainability, said: “Our new, bold and ambitious plan makes clear that the council will lead by example.
“These vehicles prove we are serious about taking the decisive action we need to clean up our air and I am looking forward to further action in the near future.”