Zero emission automotive and energy developer, First Hydrogen, is to host its first-ever track day for major UK fleet managers to showcase its unique hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCEV).
The company says the event will provide an exclusive opportunity to test drive its hydrogen-powered light commercial vehicles (LCVs) on the track at Horiba MIRA, near Coventry at the end of October.
First Hydrogen is set to welcome members from around 20 UK fleet operators that collectively own and manage more than a quarter of a million fleet vehicles. All attendees will have hands-on access to the first-of-their kind 3.5 tonne demonstrator vehicles and the chance to drive them. Complete with technical presentations and a vehicle walkaround to showcase the under-the-hood technology, the day will also provide attendees with the opportunity to discuss the practicalities of introducing FCEVs into their own zero-emission fleets.
The vehicles have already undergone road trials with fleet management company Rivus and energy company SSE and are currently undertaking operations with major parcel delivery companies. First Hydrogen says it has already created an appetite for the vehicles with more than 15 major fleet operators who are on the waiting list to trial the vehicles in their own fleets.
The track event enables First Hydrogen to demonstrate the vehicles’ capabilities to multiple organisations in one day. This includes showcasing their range of more than 630km (400 miles) on a single refuelling, ease of driving and, thanks to efficient powertrain technology, their ability to carry large payloads without compromising on range in any weather conditions.
In anticipation of its popularity, the invitation-only event targets major UK LCV fleet operators including members of the UK Aggregated Hydrogen Freight Consortium (AHFC). The AHFC is a partnership of leading UK hydrogen industry and mobility companies, which is led by Element Energy with input from global industrial members of UK H2Mobility. It works with large fleet operators and the government to accelerate the commercial roll-out of FCEVs and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure to decarbonise high-mileage and heavy-duty van and truck fleets. The global light commercial vehicle market is projected to reach US$786.5 billion (£634.9 billion) by 2030 and First Hydrogen’s vehicles aim to help the sector meet its zero emission targets.
Steve Gill, CEO for First Hydrogen Automotive, said: “We have been bowled over by the interest we’ve received from fleet operators in trialling our vehicles, with more than 15 companies on the waiting list. The race is on for fleets to meet emissions targets and this event gives these fleet managers the opportunity to get behind the wheel and understand the range, use cases and benefits of FCEVs compared to other alternative-fuel vehicles. Our aim is for attending fleet managers and operational specialists to leave with a clearer view on the capabilities of First Hydrogen and our hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, which will inform decision making on the purchase of zero emissions fleets.
“If we see sustained interest from prospective customers, there is potential for us to use this format as a template for a series of similar track events in the future, with the ambition for us to take the vehicles into Europe and North America.”