Fife Council is to operate two hydrogen dual-fuel bin lorries to lower carbon emissions and improve air quality in urban areas.

Two Heil Farid models, based on a Mercedes-Benz chassis, have been adapted to run on both hydrogen and diesel. They represent a world first in the application of the dual-fuel technology to refuse trucks, according to Liverpool-based Ulemco, which carried out the conversions.

The work is part of the Levenmouth Community Energy Partnership that will also see the conversion of five Ford Transit vans and 10 Renault HyKangoo vans to hybrid electric and hydrogen fuel cell operation.

Councillor Lesley Laird, deputy leader and executive spokesperson for economy and planning, said: “Fife is leading the way in clean energy. We envisage Levenmouth Community Energy Partnership becoming home to one of Europe’s largest fleet of hydrogen dual-fuel vehicles.”

Levenmouth Community Energy Partnership, which last year received £4.3m from the Scottish Government, aims to position Fife as a global leader in clean energy.

The Hydrogen Office in Methil will become a world-class demonstrator of hydrogen applications generated from renewable sources, while hydrogen refuelling points will be located at both Methil and at the council’s depot at Bankhead, Glenrothes.

Amanda Lyne, MD of hydrogen vehicle engineering firm Ulemco, added: “This is a global first for hydrogen vehicles and a really great example of the innovative approach that is needed to deliver the low carbon and low-emission vehicles of the future.”

Ulemco specialises in retrofitting commercial vehicles to enable them to run on commercially available hydrogen and currently supports a fleet of 20 vehicles across a range of hydrogen hubs in the UK.

The technology was demonstrated at last year's Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle event.