First Hydrogen announces that its two fuel cell-powered light commercial demonstrator vehicles (LCV) are on schedule to commence operational testing next month. The MAN-based vans have been equipped with Ballard Power Systems’ (Ballard) fuel cells and are currently being built by AVL Powertrain UK. These two vehicles are expected to be road legal by September 2022 allowing for trials with major fleet operators. It is anticipated that these trials will be carried out with a significant number of fleet operators and buyers based on the interest which has already been generated. These trials will serve to enhance product development and create customer engagement and partnerships around First Hydrogen Automotive’s future fleets of LCVs.
Steve Gill, CEO of First Hydrogen Automotive, stated, “We chose to start by developing road-legal demonstrators using a donor platform that will enable customers to see, feel and experience the benefits and operation of a hydrogen propulsion system in a familiar set-up. It also helps them to and compare it directly to a battery electric vehicle (BEV). This design and build process allows us to bring our product to customers in a much shorter timeframe. The base vehicle is derived from a MAN eTGE electric van, which is part of the Volkswagen Group. The Ballard FCgen®-LCS hydrogen powered fuel cell and hydrogen tanks have been integrated without impacting the customer features of the van, such as interior space or load height. The resulting vehicles will have over 500km of range capability, based on the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), versus a 115km range when compared to a base BEV with the same maximum speed. The refuelling time is typically five minutes.”