The Association of Fleet Professionals is unequivocal in its rejection of hydrogen as a zero emission fuel for van fleets. The fleet manager body says hydrogen is “not currently realistic,” and the AFP adds that a minority of large van fleet operators were waiting to see if the fuel would become viable in the short term.
“We’ve discussed this topic at some length at every level of the AFP and our conclusions are clear," said Paul Hollick, chair of the AFP, "Electric is effectively the only option when it comes to the future of zero emissions vans in the U.K. for at least the next decade. Hydrogen is simply not happening in any meaningful way and there is no real sign of that situation changing.”
Hollick said the refueling infrastructure was only minimal and there was restricted availability of vans.
Currently Stellantis brands Citroen, Peugeot, and Vauxhall/Opel have developed hydrogen vans. In the U.K., Vauxhall says it is undertaking discussions with fleets about the introduction of the Vivaro-e hydrogen van with its 243 mile range.
“Elsewhere, such as in Germany, there is significant state support for the expansion of hydrogen but government commitment here is low,” continued Hollick.
“It is clear that as far as the vast majority of road transport is concerned, our politicians see electric as the future. Fleets waiting for hydrogen to emerge as a realistic alternative are almost certainly set for disappointment.”
Hollick said that van fleet managers should resolve the operational and infrastructure issues hampering adoption of battery electric vans as number one task to transition away from ICE vehicles.
“There are no easy answers to some of the questions created by this situation but fleet managers and organizations such as the AFP are working to find new ways of maximizing the effectiveness of EVs – and making substantial progress almost month-by-month,” he added.