UK-based hydrogen vans pass first commissioning trials

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First Hydrogen, a developer of zero emission vehicles and green hydrogen production facilities with headquarters in Vancouver, Canada and London, UK, has announced that its two demonstrator vehicles have successfully completed initial commissioning trials.

The demonstrator vehicles also passed important vehicle control system tests as part of the commissioning trials. The fuel cell systems, including the stack supplied by Ballard Power Systems, have undergone extensive calibration and testing in Graz, Austria. The testing program is being run by First Hydrogen’s automotive build partner, AVL.

As part of First Hydrogen’s due diligence, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service were invited to inspect the vehicle at AVL’s facility in Basildon, UK, and were reassured by seeing the control measures put in place so have supported the application for use on UK roads. This enables the vehicles to be tested in mixed road and driving conditions and to confirm performance ahead of First Hydrogen’s real-world operational trials with major fleet operators in early 2023.

Steve Gill, CEO at First Hydrogen Automotive, said, “Completion of the first trials is a key milestone in our demonstrators’ build and helps us to progress to the next stages of development for the vehicle’s hydrogen system, filling trials and dynamic road running. We are pleased that Essex Fire and Rescue Service were reassured to see the control measures put in place so have supported the application for use on the county’s roads. This also paves the way for future hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to be accepted for UK road testing.

“With real-world fleet trials due to start early next year, we are moving towards our goal of accelerating adoption of zero-emission vehicles in the light commercial vehicle market. We are also hugely encouraged by the appetite from AHFC members, which includes some of the largest fleet operators in the UK, to trial hydrogen-powered vehicles. Not only will these trials provide unique proprietary data for our next generation of vehicles, the trials are also expected to generate future demand and establish a customer base.”

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he oversees Automotive Powertrain Technology International and Professional Motorsport World magazines as editor.

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