First Hydrogen achieves highest mileage

Trials of the hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicle (FCEV) from First Hydrogen have seen gas distribution network Wales & West Utilities (WWU) undertake the vehicle’s highest ever mileage.

The first-of-its-kind van completed more than 1,200 miles over the four-week trial, travelling up to 117 miles per day on mostly urban roads and highways in some of South Wales’ coldest conditions.

The vehicle also demonstrated the full power capability of the fuel cell module, with outputs higher than 60kW in transient accelerations, showing capability for demanding duties, such as carrying heavier payloads, towing and powering auxiliary equipment (onboard power).

The FCEV was shared by two drivers from WWU’s Network Emergency & Metering Services team.Most of the vehicle’s journeys were travelling to customer call outs, averaging 5-6 visits per day.

WWU is exploring zero emissions vehicle technology to suit its operational requirements and the trials provided the transport team with the opportunity to experience the benefits of a FCEV first-hand.

Alun Jones, First Call Operative (FCO) for WWU and driver in First Hydrogen’s trials (pictured) said: “The fact you can quickly refuel rather than charge up overnight is a massive advantage for us as sometimes we respond to calls from our homes in the middle of the night. I can definitely see the hydrogen vans working at WWU in terms of the efficiency we need.”

Stephen Offley, Transport Manager for WWU said: “We are impressed with how the van operates and its overall performance – particularly as this is a prototype vehicle and we were breaking new ground by creating our own hydrogen vehicle ecosystem.

“Testing the vehicle with our FCOs meant we could demonstrate its use in a front-line service role and provide credible findings for us to share with our stakeholders and other fleet managers. The data generated from the trials also gives us a case to push for fixed hydrogen infrastructure in the area so we can benefit from faster refuelling and operational simplicity.”

Steve Gill, Executive Director Automotive, First Hydrogen, said: “Sharing the van between two drivers, neither of whom has driven a zero emission vehicle before, has given us insight into how different driving styles can affect performance. By reviewing this data and speaking to the WWU team, we have identified further opportunities to improve fuel consumption and optimise efficiency.”

Image courtesy of First Hydrogen

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