Grayson Thermal Systems to deliver heating and cooling innovation for ambitious zero-emission bus project

APC22 NEXTGENZEBS team outside WB Hydroliner

Grayson Thermal Systems has been announced as the lead partner for thermal management in the NEXTGENZEBS project, a multi-million-pound initiative to develop a range of zero-emission tri-axle and articulated single and double-deck buses.

The project, worth £12.6 million, is one of seven new initiatives launched as part of the APC22 programme, which aims to accelerate the development of net-zero emission vehicles.

Led by Wrightbus, the NEXTGENZEBS project will see Grayson Thermal Systems collaborating with Hutchinson Engineering, Queens University Belfast, Translink, and the Northern Irish OEM to create a new, market-leading platform for battery electric and fuel cell electric buses in the developing tri-axle and articulated segment of the bus market. The initiative is intended for export to Europe and the Asia Pacific region.

APC22 NEXTGENZEBS team on WB Hydroliner
APC22 project team aboard the Wrightbus Hydroliner

Grayson Thermal Systems will leverage its decades of thermal management expertise to develop new vehicle thermal management systems that can meet the specific heating and cooling requirements of each region.

Matthew Hateley, Head of European Sales and Marketing of Grayson Thermal Systems, said: “The drive to zero-emission mobility presents exciting opportunities to innovate and develop new products for the bus and coach market. We are delighted to work in collaboration with our partner on this project and apply our expertise to ensure this next generation of BEV and FCEV buses can meet the HVAC requirements of different climates across the globe.”

The NEXTGENZEBS project builds on the existing partnership established in the APC17 project, where Wrightbus, Grayson Thermal Systems, and others successfully developed a line of efficient, lightweight fuel cell buses: the Streetdeck Hydroliner. The new hydrogen models also benefited from Grayson Thermal Systems’ pioneering Vehicle Thermal Management System, delivering ultra-efficient fuel cell cooling, precise battery thermal management, and HVAC for passengers and drivers.

APC22 representatives outside APC offices
Representatives across industry, academia and government at the launch of APC22

Representatives from across all APC22 projects, including Ford, JLR and Leyland Trucks, came together on the 9th of May 2023 to mark the programme’s launch at the Advanced Propulsion Centre’s offices in the University of Warwick.

Opening the event, Nusrat Ghani, Minister for Business and Trade, commented: “Zero-emission vehicles are increasingly commonplace, from cars on people’s driveways to taxis taking us around town. But this cutting-edge work is going to mean clean, green vehicles designed and built in the UK can increasingly take on the toughest jobs too, from haulage to public transport. Our automotive industry keeps setting the pace globally when it comes to seizing the potential of new technologies. Today’s multi-million-pound boost will help them stay ahead of the international competition while continuing to support high-quality jobs and economic growth. The collaborative nature of the projects, and one of the key strengths of APC support, means that a number of firms, including smaller sized enterprises, across the UK will be developing their capability.”

In total, £77 million of funding was awarded across the range of APC22 projects, aimed at accelerating innovation in the heavy-duty vehicle space.

About Grayson Thermal Systems

Grayson Thermal Systems is a global company with sites in Europe and North America, designing, testing, manufacturing, supplying, and servicing heating and cooling systems for some of the best-known bus and coach, rail, off-highway, commercial truck and special vehicle OEMs and operators worldwide.

About the Advanced Propulsion Centre

The Advanced Propulsion Centre is a collaborative initiative founded in 2013 that works with the UK government, the automotive industry, and academia to accelerate the industrialization of technologies that support the transition to delivering net-zero emission vehicles.

To learn more about the NEXTGENZEBS project, visit: