AA hydrogen van

The AA has unveiled a hydrogen fuel cell breakdown vehicle at the British Motor Show in Farnborough.

The adapted Hyundai Nexo SUV is intended to be an operational roadside breakdown vehicle, but like the motoring organisation’s EVs it will be targeted at breakdown jobs in ultra-low emission areas that require fixes rather than tows.

However, unlike the EVs it can fuel up in just five minutes and has a range of 414 miles on a full tank.

AA president Edmund King said: “The discussions about carbon reduction and zero emission vehicles have tended to concentrate on battery electric vehicles (BEVs). At the AA we are investing in electric vehicles but believe that there will be a role for hydrogen and possibly synthetic fuels in the future, especially for business fleets.

“We want patrols to pilot this hydrogen fuel cell vehicle to see what lessons we can learn. We believe hydrogen might be used for our bigger tow trucks in the future. The AA Hyundai Nexo could be a perfect fit for patrol work in ultra-low emission zones, so we are looking forward to putting it to work.

“We accept that the hydrogen refuelling infrastructure is not currently extensive, and further work is needed on the development of green hydrogen, but the 414-mile range makes the vehicle viable for our needs.

He added: “We believe that driving doesn’t have to cost the earth and we’re committed to reducing our impact and supporting drivers to do the same. To achieve this the AA has recently announced its commitment to become Net Zero for our own emissions by 2035, including greenhouse gas emissions generated by our operational fleet which are the AA’s most significant source of direct emissions.

“This is an ambitious target, as there isn’t yet a van in production that can run on alternative fuel and meet all our needs. We have tested many vehicles and will continue to trial new technology as it becomes available while investing in innovation that reduces our environmental impact. We’re also partnering with others to help develop the tech that’ll make it easier to transition to electric and lower carbon emission vehicles.

“As part of this target we are rolling out electric vehicles (EVs) into our operational fleets, where we can and trialling other low carbon vehicles and technology across our group, like hydrogen chargers and vehicles to gain learning and understanding how these vehicles could be used in the future.

“Our fuel cell vehicle launch at the British Motor Show is another step towards our technological and net zero future.”