Parcel delivery fleets to trial hydrogen van

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25th August 2023

First Hydrogen is opening up fleet trials for its hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered vehicle (FCEV) to parcel delivery companies.

Following initial fleet operator road trials in the UK, with firms including SSE and Rivus, the company’s proof-of-concept demonstrator vehicles are planned for operational trials with several parcel delivery companies looking to enhance their growing greener fleets starting late Q3 and Q4 of this year.

Until now First Hydrogen has predominantly targeted industries such as utilities, that require zero emission vehicles with the capability to travel further and carry heavier payloads.

Parcel delivery companies face a specific set of challenges, which is encouraging them to explore other zero emissions technology in addition to battery technology to meet commercial and environmental targets, said First Hydrogen.

First Hydrogen’s engineers highlight that, while the vehicles were designed to sustain longer journeys, they have been equipped with hybrid engines (hydrogen fuel cell and battery), which suit shorter drives in urban and suburban areas.

Regenerative braking helps to recharge the battery, particularly during journeys with lots of starts and stops, such as driving in built up areas, or routes with multiple stops – including the journeys delivery drivers make with frequent drop-offs and pick-ups. Drivers frequently make over 100 stops in a daily shift.

Steve Gill, CEO of First Hydrogen Automotive, said: “Carbon reduction targets, low and zero emission zones in cities and phasing out of diesel and petrol-powered vehicles are positioning hydrogen mobility as a realistic solution to the challenges last-mile delivery operators face.

“Fleet managers are realising that battery electric vehicles (BEV) alone will not provide the reliability and operational flexibility required to meet customer demands. Future fleets require a mix of BEV and FCEV to overcome these obstacles and hit net zero targets.

“The large, growing parcel delivery sector desperately needs to build environmentally friendly and commercially viable fleets, and our hydrogen LCV can help to do that.

“This presents us with an exciting opportunity to explore a new customer base, enabling us to further accelerate business growth and potentially bring our vehicles to market quicker.”

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