First Hydrogen’s fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) will begin testing in June as part of its partnerships with Ballard Power Systems and AVL Powertrain UK.
The two demonstrator vehicles, sourced from MAN, part of the Volkswagen Group, are located at AVL’s UK headquarters. One has been stripped down and used for detailed design and packaging assessments to accommodate the Ballard hydrogen fuel cell, the balance of plant systems, and the hydrogen (H2) fuel tanks. This includes the preparations for the installation of the hydrogen fuel cell, the power battery and the H2 fuel tanks. The second vehicle is for the control systems analysis and integration.
The first of two hydrogen fuel cell stacks provided by Ballard has been built with the addition of all required components, including air system, thermal management and cooling system and hydrogen supply. This fuel cell system assembly has been shipped to AVL’s headquarters in Graz, Austria for testing and fuel-cell optimization. The second fuel cell system assembly will follow shortly.
Following optimization, the fuel cells systems will be shipped back to AVL in the UK for integration and commissioning in the vehicles. Road/track testing is expected to be on schedule for June 2022 with final delivery for road use in September 2022 and First Hydrogen will then be able to showcase its’ zero-emission commercial van to replace petrol/diesel powered fleets.
In parallel with the development of the demonstrator vehicles, the company is pursuing green hydrogen production projects in the UK and elsewhere. The company’s development of its mobility refuelling station continues with FEV Consulting GmbH of Aachen Germany.
Steve Gill, CEO Automotive of First Hydrogen said: “We are very pleased with the progress for the delivery of our two demonstrator vehicles, working with our partners AVL and Ballard. We are substantially on track to showcase our road-going vehicles with customers in September 2022, as originally planned. Our joint development of this hydrogen fuel cell vehicle will set us apart as a market leader for fuel cell vehicles in the light commercial space and in good stead for our next generation of bespoke hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, which will incorporate all the technical development we have achieved so far.”