The Stellantis Group is increasing its focus on hydrogen fuel development for fleet users with the appointment of Jean-Michel Billig as chief technology officer.
In addition, Ope’s CEO Uwe Hochgeschurtz will also undertake a pilot on the commercialization of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles across the globe.
Commenting on Billig's appointment, Carlos Tavares, Stellantis CEO, said:
“Jean-Michel’s broad spectrum of experiences in aircraft, aerospace, automotive, and naval industries will contribute to bringing additional ideas to boost Stellantis’ ambition in hydrogen fuel cell sales and address the widest range of zero-emission mobility requirements. Having Jean-Michel and Uwe in these complementary roles illustrates our commitment to enhancing our leadership in hydrogen fuel cell technology.”
The intensified focus on zero-emission hydrogen fuel technology comes as the SUEZ Group - a global water, sanitation, waste collection, and recovery services provider - has been conducting real world trials of Citroën ë-Jumpy Hydrogen at its Carcassonne site in southern France.
The van is used for daily worksite visits, the restocking of small and large equipment supplies, and emergency repair work in the event of a water leak. Drivers regularly undertake journeys of over 60 miles – an easy distance given the ë-Jumpy Hydrogen’s 248 mile range, but it also means no refueling is required during the day.
When refueling is required, a 350-bar station offers half a tank in three minutes (or three minutes for a full tank at a 700-bar station), offering no compromise uptime for the business. A 10.5-kWh battery provides a 50-km reserve if the hydrogen tanks run out and is easy to charge on a standard socket at night.
In Germany, the kitchen appliance company Miele has been testing out a hydrogen van from sister Stellantis firm Opel.
Stellantis says that apart from the swifter refueling, and longer range, the hydrogen vans offer fleets good payload - up to 1 ton - and no compromise on volume capacity.
As commercial vehicles start to electrify, the hydrogen van offers fleets an alternative to battery electric vans - an alternative that Billig and Hochgeschurtz will be keen to popularize with commercial vehicle fleets