First Hydrogen reveals inaugural green hydrogen vans

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17th March 2022

Automotive and energy brand First Hydrogen has revealed its hydrogen fuel cell van demonstrators, which will be ready for road use from the autumn, showcasing the benefits of hydrogen power to fleets.

Already in development and due to undergo testing in June, the pair of vans are being developed as part of the firm’s partnerships with Ballard Power Systems Inc and AVL Powertrain UK Limited.

The two demonstrator vehicles – sourced from Volkswagen Group brand MAN – are located at AVL’s UK headquarters. One has been stripped down and used for detailed design and packaging assessments to accommodate the Ballard hydrogen fuel cell, the balance of plant systems, and the hydrogen fuel tanks. This includes the preparations for the installation of the hydrogen fuel cell, the power battery and the H2 fuel tanks. The second vehicle is being used for the control systems analysis and integration.

The first of two hydrogen fuel cell stacks provided by Ballard has been built with the addition of all required components, including air system, thermal management and cooling system and hydrogen supply. This fuel cell system assembly has been shipped to AVL’s headquarters in Graz, Austria for testing and fuel-cell optimisation.  The second fuel cell system assembly will follow shortly.

Following optimisation, the fuel cells systems will be shipped back to AVL in the UK for integration and commissioning in the vehicles.

The vans are on schedule to start road/track testing for June 2022, with final delivery for road use in September 2022.

First Hydrogen will then showcase its zero-emission commercial van to fleets to show how it can replace petrol/diesel-powered vehicles.

Alongside the development of the demonstrator vehicles, the company is pursuing green hydrogen production projects in the UK and elsewhere – this includes the development of a mobility refuelling station with FEV Consulting GmbH of Aachen Germany.

Steve Gill, CEO Automotive of First Hydrogen, said: “Our joint development of this hydrogen fuel cell vehicle will set us apart as a market leader for fuel cell vehicles in the light commercial space and in good stead for our next generation of bespoke hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, which will incorporate all the technical development we have achieved so far.”

The two demonstrator vehicles – sourced from Volkswagen Group brand MAN – are located at AVL’s UK headquarters

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