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Ricardo to help South Australian Hydrogen Hubs Inc investigate feasibility of hydrogen technology retrofitting for heavy duty vehicles

24 Jun 2024


Ricardo has been chosen by South Australian Hydrogen Hubs Inc (SA-H2H™) to undertake a feasibility study into hydrogen technology retrofitting as a decarbonisation pathway for heavy duty vehicles in South Australia.

South Australia is currently a leading player in the emerging sustainable hydrogen industry, with the South Australian Government funding one of the largest green hydrogen electrolysers in the world and establishing a precinct at Whyalla, located close to some of the state’s prime solar and wind assets for industrial-scale green hydrogen production.

However, it also faces two distinct challenges: how this hydrogen industry can be nurtured towards making significant decarbonisation progress, and how to support long-term skilled ‘green’ jobs in the region.

SA-H2H™ is delivering two projects to address these challenges. The first, centred around hydrogen mobile refuelling, is underway with industry support. The second is a hydrogen retrofitting programme for heavy vehicles, with the first phase feasibility study to be led by our team.


Significant step in Australia's decarbonisation journey

Given Australia’s dependence on its agriculture, mining and freight industries to maintain its economic prosperity – as well as the vast distances between communities and its relatively low population - heavy vehicles that support these sectors need affordable decarbonisation pathways to enable Australia to meet national net zero targets. The feasibility study will therefore represent a significant step in the nation’s decarbonisation journey. 

Additionally, because South Australia is soon to become a significant producer of hydrogen through government or industry projects in construction or development, the feasibility study will also support regional authorities’ understanding of the opportunities for local use of hydrogen for mobility, and the potential for the creation of long-term local jobs which support industries’ access to, and use of, hydrogen to make Australia cleaner, more sustainable, and less reliant on imported fuel sources.


'A great example of industry collaboration'

Nicholas Mumford, founder of (SA-H2H™) said: “We are excited with the commencement of this retrofitting project and the opportunities that it might unlock in decarbonising our mobility sector and potential for providing regional jobs and skills in the hydrogen industry.  It is great to have such an experienced player as Ricardo, an SA-H2H™ member, leading the project and a great example of industry collaboration that evolves from the hydrogen eco-system that is the essence of what SA-H2H™ is about.”

Chris Hewitson, Director, Ricardo Australia and New Zealand said: “Ricardo is excited to be working with SA-H2H™, its members, and the South Australia Government to provide a pathway for large-scale hydrogen retrofitting in South Australia.  It is a privilege to connect the significant skill base at Ricardo - and its decades of decarbonisation experience across the UK, Europe and the US - with a real need for long-term hydrogen use and industry jobs in South Australia. Our Manager of Sustainable Transport activities in the region, Jorge Martin Gistau, will lead this nationally-important study though our office in Adelaide, South Australia, bringing world-class hydrogen mobility expertise into Australia”.


Pictured: Jorge Martin Gistau (l) and Graham Dooley, Chariman SA-H2H™


The feasibility study will leverage Ricardo’s proven global expertise in innovating and safely implementing hydrogen technology in light vehicles, heavy vehicles, trains, planes and ships, combined with capability in local delivery. 

We have previously provided specialist support to the South Australia Government in the early phases of its Hydrogen Jobs Program (HJP) and, through our Australia-based team, have been active members of SA-H2H™ for the past three years. This study will be our first work with the industry member association.

We are also currently undertaking a net zero rail study for the Government of South Australia Department for Infrastructure and Transport, assessing the viability of sustainable options for Adelaide’s remaining diesel passenger train lines.

To find out more about South Australian Hydrogen Hubs Inc visit

The project will be oversen by Ricardo's Jorge Martin Gistau and Chris Hewitson

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