First Hydrogen to commence operational testing

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First Hydrogen Automotive has revealed that its two fuel cell-powered light commercial demonstrator vehicles are on schedule to commence operational testing next month. The MAN-based vans have been equipped with Ballard Power Systems’ fuel cells and are currently being built by AVL Powertrain UK.

Steve Gill, First Hydrogen Automotive CEO, explained, “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 features such as interior space or load height.

“The resulting vehicles will have over 500km of range capability (WLTP), versus a 115km range when compared to a base BEV with the same maximum speed. The refueling time is typically five minutes.”

The two demonstrator vehicles are expected to be road legal by September 2022, allowing for trials with fleet operators. These trials are expected to enhance product development for First Hydrogen’s future fleets of LCVs.

“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,” noted Gill. “This design and build process allows us to bring our product to customers in a much shorter timeframe.”

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Sam joined the UKi Media & Events automotive team in 2017. Having started out as assistant editor for a number of titles including Automotive Powertrain Technology International, Automotive Testing Technology International and Professional Motorsport World, he was appointed editor of PTI in 2020. Sam produces content for both the magazine and website.

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