First Hydrogen Corp. successfully completed two fleet trials of its hydrogen fuel-cell- powered vehicle (FCEV), achieving a range of 630 kilometers (about 391 miles) on a single refueling.
Scotland-based SSE, a multinational energy company, and U.K. fleet management company Rivus took part in the trials.
With reported positive feedback from both SSE and Rivus drivers on the FCEV’s “smooth and effortless drivability, quick refueling times and automatic transmission,” First Hydrogen will escalate trials with 14 additional fleet operators in the U.K., including grocery, utility, delivery and health care companies. Trials with North American companies are also planned.
Trial data suggests better-than-expected overall vehicle, exceeding results of pre-trial commissioning tests. For several trial journeys, the FCEV drove fully loaded one way and partly loaded on the return. SSE drivers noted that heavier loads did not noticeably decrease vehicle speed, reduce vehicle range or affect fuel cell performance.
The first utility business to road test First Hydrogen’s fuel cell vehicle, SSE has established a Net Zero Action Plan and recently increased its investment in renewables and its electricity networks to £18 billion. In 2019, SSE committed to transitioning over 3,000 fleet vehicles to electric by 2023, and its fleet already operations 1,100 full EVs.
Rivus, which manages approximately 120,000 vehicles, including approximately 85,000 LCVs, was the initial fleet management company to test drive First Hydrogen’s fuel cell vehicle on U.K. roads. Fleet management specialists Rivus will use data gathered by First Hydrogen’s onboard telematics to compare the FCEVs with similar BEV and internal combustion engine vehicles with same duty cycles.
“As our FCEV data is monitored with each real-world trial, adjustments have resulted with a 630 km range in the most recent trial with SSE,” said Balraj Mann, First Hydrogen chairman and group CEO. “We are very pleased with the substantial increase from the 500 km range achieved during FCEV commissioning.”
Noting that trial vehicle fuel consumption averaged 1.58kg H2/100km, Mann said the company looks to improve fuel consumption under various real world conditions during additional fleet trials in the coming months. “We are seeing with trials that hydrogen is the better alternative to equivalent battery electric vehicles for commercial use.”
Based in Vancover, Canada and London, First Hydrogen focuses on zero-emission vehicles, green hydrogen production and distribution, and supercritical carbon dioxide extractor systems. First Hydrogen is also developing refueling capability working with FEV Consulting, the automotive consultancy of FEV Group of Aachen Germany, and pursuing opportunities in green hydrogen production and distribution in the U.K., EU and North America.