First Hydrogen has commenced performance testing of its fuel cell-powered vans (FCEV) for the first time at the Horiba Mira proving ground in the UK Midlands, where the vehicles are undergoing track-based performance trials.
The fuel cell-powered LCVs were licenced for UK road usage last month, ahead of a series of road testing with major UK operators set to begin in January 2023. The vehicles will go through final testing to fine-tune operating performance before being made available for fleet operator trials, which will begin in the new year.
The company’s first vehicles have more than five times the range capabilities of its battery electric counterpart, delivering 400-600km range on a single fill-up vs the 115km range of the battery electric van driving at the same maximum speed.
First Hydrogen announced this week that with a refuelling time of around five minutes, the time necessary to power First Hydrogen’s FCEVs “dramatically undercuts” the five hours it takes to recharge a battery electric van.
The vans are outfitted with First Hydrogen’s full Hydrogen-as-a-Service (HaaS) solution, which includes green hydrogen fuel, distribution, and vehicle management services to assist the sector in meeting zero-emission objectives.
The fuel cell vans were outfitted at AVL’s Basildon plant with a hydrogen fuel system installed by First Hydrogen and a fuel stack supplied by Ballard Power Systems.
“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.” said Steve Gill, Chief Executive of Automotive at First Hydrogen. “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.”
Nicholas Wrigley, Chairman of First Hydrogen added: “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.”