Manufacturer teams up with Arcola Energy to launch Metrodecker H2

The Metrodecker H2 complements Optare’s existing range of low and zero emission buses

Yorkshire-based bus manufacturer Optare has announced it has partnered with Arcola Every to launch a hydrogen fuel cell-powered version of its Metrodecker double deck bus.

The Metrodecker H2 hydrogen bus product is built on Optare’s Metrodecker EV platform. It incorporates a hydrogen fuel cell powerpack developed by Arcola Energy as a direct replacement for the battery powerpack in the Metrodecker EV.

It can carry more than 90 passengers with a range of between 200 and 250 miles depending on specification and route. Optare sees a significant export market for fuel cell buses to regions with high ambient temperatures, requiring high air-conditioning power.

The hydrogen fuel cell powertrain in the Metrodecker H2 is part of a family of products developed by Arcola Energy over the past ten years for a wide range of uses including lightweight cars, trucks, off-highway vehicles, buses and trains.

Base vehicles for the Metrodecker H2 will be serially produced at Optare’s factory in Sherburn-in-Elmet, near Leeds, on the existing production lines for the Metrodecker EV. Hydrogen and fuel cell systems will be built by Arcola Energy at their existing facility in Liverpool, with plans well advanced for a second facility at the Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc in Dundee.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with Arcola on this project,” said Graham Belgum, Optare’s chief executive. “We believe fuel cell technology has the potential to complement Optare’s award winning battery electric vehicle range.

“We look forward to working closely with Arcola to increase our understanding of the technology and its performance in service. We can see applications for fuel cells on inter urban routes in temperate climates and in high ambient environments where air conditioning is essential and energy consumption is high.”

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