FAUN-Zoeller UK (FZUK), part of the Kirchhoff Group based in Germany, have developed the chassis in full technical and commercial collaboration with Daimler AG based in Stuttgart, South Germany.

Trevor Nicoll, assistant director at St Helens, said: ‘We are delighted to be the pioneering local authority on this project in the UK. With this partnership that involves not just the introduction of the vehicle, but the surrounding topics of skills, education and the development of decarbonisation in the community, it is the first major step for us on the green decarbonisation journey.’

Simon Hyde, chief executive of FZUK, commented: ‘The company and group have invested heavily in the product since 2016 and are very well positioned in terms of product performance, manufacturing capability and capacity, to provide a robust solution to the challenge of decarbonisation.

‘It was the intent to ensure that the product was completely ready to launch in UK and I’m very proud that having seen over 30 units fully operational in Germany, France and Belgium, with outstanding results, combined with a huge £15m investment in a new, dedicated production facility for Bluepower, it is more than ready for the UK!

‘We are thrilled to be fully engaged with the forward-thinking team at St Helens and are looking forward to working on the programme in the wider community.’