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Air Products Provides Hydrogen to Zero-Carbon Tourist Transport Network to be Trialled in the Peak District National Park

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  • A pioneering trial is taking place in the Peak District National Park where hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV) and Electric Vehicles (EV) will run together between multiple destinations and attractions.
  • The two-week trial is open to a cross-industry test group and will finish on 16th September.
  • Air Products, the world’s largest hydrogen producer, will provide the hydrogen and refuelling infrastructure to support the FCEVs.
  • The trial for ‘PEAK Express’ is led by the Gateway at PEAK, a major new tourism resort in Chesterfield and is a collaborative effort between attractions and transport operators, Chesterfield Borough Council and Toyota.

Air Products, the world’s leading hydrogen producer, is providing hydrogen and refuelling infrastructure for the trial of a pioneering new zero-carbon transport network in the Peak District National Park.  

The trial, which is delivered in partnership with stakeholders in the Peak District National Park and Chesterfield, will test the suitability of both FCEV and EV vehicles for use in the area.  The trial route connects eight key locations and attractions including Chesterfield Train Station, Chatsworth, and the Gateway development, which will act as a hub for ‘PEAK Express’ when it is due to open in 2025.

It’s the first time FCEV and EV vehicles have been trialled together in the UK as the project aims to explore alternatives to fossil fuels and gather feedback on customer experience. The electric and hydrogen electric buses will be provided by 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.”

Once fully operational, ‘PEAK Express’ at the Gateway alone aims to remove 500,000 visitor journeys from the National Park, reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 3.6 million kilograms per annum and providing a national exemplar of sustainable visitor economy growth. The long-term ambition is to see multiple hubs located around the Peak District National Park boundary.

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.”

The trial has been running since 5th September and will finish on the 16th. PEAK Express is planned to be fully operational as part of the Gateway at PEAK Resort, due to open in Spring 2025.

Commentary from other stakeholders
Andrew McCloy, Chair of the Peak District National Park Authority, said, “We are delighted to be a stakeholder for this ground-breaking trial. Protecting the National Park for future generations and developing more sustainable ways for people to visit is high on our agenda. The PEAK Gateway site outside the National Park is an excellent location for a transport hub. The Peak Express service is a commitment to net-zero and will connect more of the National Park’s attractions without the need for a car, making them more accessible and spreading out the economic benefits of tourism.”

Councillor Tricia Gilby, leader of Chesterfield Borough Council praised the collaborative efforts of the project team saying that, “The value of this partnership is clearly demonstrated when considering significant issues like climate change, which requires collective local commitment and action if we are to make a real difference, and we are delighted to be a key partner in this trial.”

John Milligan, CEO of Milligan developers of the Gateway added; “The PEAK Resort site has been reclaimed from opencast, rewilded and we are investing in its future. PEAK’s proposition emulates the internationally successful ski resort model, providing a mixed range of hospitality, accommodation, retail, wellness and education facilities all served by a zero-carbon mobility service connected to 1,600 miles of trails and world class attractions in the Peak District National Park.

“Milligan has been developing iconic destinations for over 20 years. Our skills lie in curating the right mix of uses which will serve the community and visitors in a sustainable way bringing long term value. This trial is part of the development’s journey to zero and marks an important milestone for Gateway and the National Park.”

About Air Products
Air Products (NYSE:APD) is a world-leading industrial gases company in operation for over 80 years. Focused on serving energy, environment and emerging markets, the Company provides essential industrial gases, related equipment and applications expertise to customers in dozens of industries, including refining, chemical, metals, electronics, manufacturing, and food and beverage. Air Products is also the global leader in the supply of liquefied natural gas process technology and equipment. The Company develops, engineers, builds, owns and operates some of the world's largest industrial gas projects, including: gasification projects that sustainably convert abundant natural resources into syngas for the production of high-value power, fuels and chemicals; carbon capture projects; and world-scale low- and zero-carbon hydrogen projects supporting global transportation and the energy transition.

The Company had fiscal 2021 sales of $10.3 billion from operations in over 50 countries and has a current market capitalization of about 55 billion. More than 20,000 passionate, talented and committed employees from diverse backgrounds are driven by Air Products’ higher purpose to create innovative solutions that benefit the environment, enhance sustainability and address the challenges facing customers, communities, and the world. For more information, visit airproducts.com or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.