This net zero transport option, powered by hydrogen and generated by Air Products, could reduce 3.6 million kilograms of carbon per annum in the atmosphere for those visiting the national park.
In an attempt to refuel infrastructure for a net zero carbon transport network in the Peak District National Park, a pioneering trial is taking place, where hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV) and Electric Vehicles (EV) will run together between multiple destinations and attractions.
The ‘PEAK Express’ is led by the Gateway at PEAK, which could potentially become a major new tourism resort in Chesterfield.
As a collaborative effort between attractions and transport operators, Chesterfield Borough Council and Toyota, this project aims to remove 500,000 visitor journeys from the National Park and provide a national exemplar of sustainable visitor economy growth, reports Open Access Government.
The trial will set out to test the suitability of both FCEV and EV vehicles for use in the area, also, to reduce emissions generated by tourists in the area travelling by car.
The trial route connects eight key locations and attractions including Chesterfield Train Station, Chatsworth, and the Gateway development, acting as a sustainable hub of transport.
The long-term ambition is to see multiple hubs located around the Peak District National Park boundary.
The project aims to explore alternatives to fossil fuels and gather feedback on customer experience.
Additionally, the hydrogen-electric buses will be provided by the company Toyota, and the trial will be used to gather data about each technology’s suitability for the varying terrain and refuelling needs.
Manish Patel, UK Hydrogen for Mobility Director at Air Products said: “It’s really exciting to be providing hydrogen to a project that could make an important contribution to UK carbon neutrality targets, and be a real asset to this region.
“We’re committed to finding solutions to some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. Our involvement in the trial is testament to both growing demand for hydrogen fuel and our intention to contribute to the decarbonisation of the heavy-duty transport industry. We’re looking forward to providing safe, reliable clean energy in this landmark trial.”
Jon Hunt, Alternative Fuels Manager at Toyota said: “There is not one simple solution for zero-carbon mobility. That’s why this trial provides us with an exciting opportunity to trial both EV and FCEV vehicles, assessing which is more suitable to different types of journeys across the park.
“We will also be looking at optimal ways to provide refuelling and provide great levels of customer service on board the vehicles.”
PEAK Express is planned to be fully operational as part of the Gateway at PEAK Resort, due to open in Spring 2025.