First Hydrogen powers parcel delivery

First Hydrogen LCV

"Hyrdogen mobility" is fast becoming a realistic solution to the challenges last mile delivery operators face.

That is the message from Steve Gill, CEO of First Hydrogen Automotive, as the firm opens up fleet trials for its hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered vehicle (FCEV) in response to growing interest from parcel delivery companies.

A leading zero emission automotive and green energy developer, First Hydrogen has already witnessed successful initial fleet operator road trials in the UK.

Now, the Company’s proof-of-concept demonstrator vehicles are planned for operational trials with several parcel delivery companies looking to enhance their growing greener fleets starting late Q3 and Q4 of this year.

Gill said: “Carbon reduction targets, low and zero emission zones in cities and phasing out of diesel and petrol-powered vehicles are positioning hydrogen mobility as a realistic solution to the challenges last-mile delivery operators face.

"Fleet managers are realising that battery electric vehicles (BEV) alone will not provide the reliability and operational flexibility required to meet customer demands.

"Future fleets require a mix of BEV and FCEV to overcome these obstacles and hit net zero targets." 

He added the "large, growing parcel delivery sector" desperately needs to build environmentally friendly and commercially viable fleets, adding: "our hydrogen LCV can help to do that".

"This presents us with an exciting opportunity to explore a new customer base, enabling us to further accelerate business growth and potentially bring our vehicles to market quicker,” he said.  

Until now First Hydrogen has predominantly targeted industries such as utilities, that require zero emission vehicles with the capability to travel further and carry heavier payloads.

Parcel delivery companies face a specific set of challenges, which is encouraging them to explore other zero emissions technology in addition to battery technology to meet commercial and environmental targets.

These fleets make up the middle and final stages of the supply chain, which traditionally handle shorter journeys to transport items from local hubs directly to consumers or end users.

They are increasingly undertaking longer routes from distribution centres to lockers and shops with parcel collection services or “pick up and drop off points”.

With fewer stops, the locker model creates two thirds less carbon than conventional home deliveries, which could be reduced further when using greener vehicles, according to the Green Last Mile Europe report, published by Last Mile Experts in April. 

As the ecommerce boom continues to fuel growth of the delivery market, it is contributing to rising emissions from a greater number of vehicles on the roads. 

But First Hydrogen believes its vehicles could provide a viable solution for last mile delivery drivers.

FCEVs were designed to sustain longer journeys, they have also been equipped with hybrid engines (hydrogen fuel cell and battery), which suit shorter drives in urban and suburban areas. 

The firm says regenerative braking helps to recharge the battery, particularly during journeys with lots of starts and stops, such as driving in built up areas, or routes with multiple stops - including the journeys delivery drivers make with frequent drop-offs and pick-ups - which is useful as drivers frequently make over 100 stops in a daily shift. 

Fast hydrogen refueling also reduces the vehicle down-time.

Refueling First Hydrogen’s LCV takes approximately five minutes, whereas charging a similar electric vehicle takes around 5 hours. 




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