Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Hydrogen Viewed as the Road Fuel of the Future by Manufacturers Across Europe

Bus Firm is Hiring and New Truck Range from Germany
Shipping News Feature

UK – GERMANY – The drive to see hydrogen become the fuel of future choice continues with some developments announced in the past few days. In Northern Ireland bus manufacturer Wrightbus says it is to create up to 300 permanent jobs after winning a string of orders, whilst a German group, Quantron AG, is to launch a new series of commercial vehicles powered by the gas.

Wrightbus is ramping up its Ballymena headquarters to answer the demand and is also converting 120 existing temporary jobs into permanent positions. The firm, which was bought out of administration by green entrepreneur Jo Bamford in October 2019, had just 56 members of staff when he took over.

The uptick in production of the world’s first hydrogen double decker bus, and a market-leading electric double decker bus means the firm is on track to have 930 permanent employees once the new positions have been filled, something scheduled to happen in 2022. Wrightbus MD Neil Collins said:

“In the last two years, the company has not only been bought back from the brink, but has been reinvigorated and has seen a period of phenomenal growth. Our order book is looking very healthy with our zero emission buses in high demand, and we have multiple conversations ongoing with a number of bus operators from across the UK and Ireland. And let’s not forget that this has all been achieved despite the terrible effects of the global pandemic over the past 18 months.”

Jobs on offer will include coachbuilders, welders, vehicle installation electricians, driveline operatives and factory operatives. All jobs will be advertised on the Wrightbus website Careers Page.

Meanwhile in Germany Quantron is looking to put its latest product out into the market via four trade fairs for the commercial vehicle industry in September where it will present the hydrogen-powered Q-Light FCEV, a hydrogen fuel cell transporter in the 3.49 to 4.2 tonne range, and therefore unique in Europe. By offering the vehicle in a range of body variants the hope is to attract a range of sector industry clients

Based in Augsburg in Bavaria, Quantron has a network of 700 service partners and works together with CATL, claimed as the world's largest battery producer. The company believes hydrogen offers the solution for the future of electromobility, especially for long distances.

Its current vehicles range from a versatile electric transporter Q-Light BEV (3.49-7.2 tonnes; also available with hybrid drive) based on the IVECO Daily, to 44 tonne HGVs, including models for waste collection, and will be seen at the Tag der Entsorgungslogistik (2/3 September), IAA Mobility (7/12 September), Flotte! Der Branchentreff (15/16) and NUFAM (30 September to 3 October) at which the Q-Light FCEV will be unveiled.