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Chinese Experts Helping English Buses Go Green

Experts from China are helping prepare the North East for a low-carbon future with the creation of the region’s first petrol-free passenger bus.

University of Sunderland’s Dirk Kok, Mark Armstrong, Maggie Ren and Adrian Morris with the green bus

The University of Sunderland has joined forces with Shanghai’s Shen Li High Technology and local experts ComeSys Europe and AVID vehicles from Cramlington to create ECO2Trans, a ground breaking project to convert two buses to a fuel cell, battery and capacitor combination.

One North East have sponsored the £314k project to convert the two Gulliver U500EUK buses bought from Mersey Travel, using expertise from leading edge companies in China, Germany and the UK.

Sunderland’s team is led by Dirk Kok and Adrian Morris from the Institute of Automotive and Manufacturing Advanced Practice (AMAP), who last year successfully adapted a Nissan Almera to run on hydrogen so that it only emits water from its exhaust.

The aim of ECO2Trans, says researcher Dirk Kok, is to educate people about the possibilities of hydrogen as a fuel, by demonstrate the efficiency of fuel cells. The University of Sunderland is also looking to develop the next generation of engineers and technicians who are ready for a low carbon future, and puts Sunderland right at the forefront of current developments in green vehicles.

Dirk Kok says: “The visitors from Shen Li were here to help us understand the fuel cell operation, train us in its use and to help mount the fuel cell in the buses. Now, we want to get one fully driving, and one will be completely revamped with a new motor and new electrics.

“These vehicles will act as a test bed to evaluate novel hydrogen technologies in vehicles and will enhance the region’s status as an important automotive research and development centre.

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