First Hydrogen has started testing its fuel cell-powered vans (FCEV) in Birmingham, providing performance trials. The goal of these trials is to ensure the safety and performance of the vans before hitting the roads at a bigger scale.
The FCEVs gained certification for UK road usage last month, ahead of a series of road trials with major UK operators, which are due to begin in January 2023. The vehicles will undertake final testing designed to fine tune operational performance, before they will be available for fleet operator trials to commence in the New Year.
“The team has been working tirelessly to reach this monumental achievement. It has been phenomenal to watch the performance on the test track and really brought our vision into reality. These vehicles enable us to demonstrate how hydrogen fuel cell systems can serve the LCV market, delivering the range and providing the operational flexibility commercial fleets require,” said Steve Gill, Chief Executive of Automotive at First Hydrogen.
With more than five times more range capability than their battery electric equivalent, the vehicles managed to reach the 400-600km range on a single fuelling compared to the 115km range of the battery electric van running at the same maximum speed. The time required to power the First Hydrogen vehicles is also lower when compared to the battery electric van.
Aiming to encourage the adoption of new technologies within the industry, the company will start trials for future vehicles in the EU, the US, and Canada. Feedback and high-level purchase commitments will also support the design and development of First Hydrogen’s next generation of vehicles, which it plans to bring to market in the next few years.
“We are delighted with the initial performance of the First Hydrogen fuel cell van. There is growing pressure on the transport sector to achieve zero emission targets, which means operators, governments and investors are eager to see the power of hydrogen mobility in action. Using donor vehicles has enabled us to bring our first demonstrator vans to market quickly. This approach also allows customers to see, feel and experience the operational benefits of hydrogen propulsion in a familiar set up,” added Nicholas Wrigley, Chairman of First Hydrogen.
By 2030, the global light commercial vehicle market is projected to reach $786.5bn (£659.61bn).