The trial aims to explore the suitability of both fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) and electric vehicles (EV) to be used in the area, marking the first time FCEV’s and EV’s have been trialled together in the UK.
Supplied by Toyota, the buses will run along a route that 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.
Stating that the project could make an important contribution to UK carbon neutrality targets, Manish Patel, UK Hydrogen for Mobility Director, Air Products, emphasised the need for clean fuels.
“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.”
‘Ringing Roger’, one of many attractions in the Peak District National Park
Once fully operational, PEAK Express could reduce CO2 emissions by 3.6m kg per year by removing 500,000 visit journeys from the National Park at the Gateway alone.
By trialling multiple types of vehicles, Toyota aims to create a multi-approach 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,” said Jon Hunt, Alternative Fuels Manager, Toyota.
“We will also be looking at optimal ways to provide refuelling and provide great levels of customer service onboard the vehicles.”
Having run since 5th September, the trial will finish on the 16th and is planned to be fully operational as part of the Gateway at PEAK Resort, due to open in Spring 2025.
According to John Milligan, CEO of Milligan, developers of the Gateway, the Resort will emulate a ski resort model, providing a mixed range of hospitality, accommodation, retail, wellness and education facilities all served by a zero carbon mobility service.