“Take hydrogen seriously,” says Association of Fleet Professionals about hydrogen fuel

“Take hydrogen seriously,” says Association of Fleet Professionals about hydrogen fuel

February 3, 2024 1 By Frankie Wallace

The AFP has taken this perspective in the wake of a number of issues with electric vans.

A number of commercial fleets are beginning to “take hydrogen seriously” according to the Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP), which explained the trend as a response to issues being experienced in operating electric vans.

Among the issues include a limited range and restricted payload size in the vans currently available.according to the Association of Fleet Professionals

Moreover, other problems associated with using electric van fleets involve struggles with towing, said the AFP.

The challenges increasingly related with the use of electric van fleets has led to an increasing trend in hydrogen fuel inquiries. Furthering this trend was the upcoming arrival of the Vauxhall Vivaro-e H2 van in the United Kingdom at the end of January. The vehicle boasts a range of 249 miles, a three-minute refueling time. Its price tag at launch was slightly over £32,000.

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West Utilities in Wales recently announced its intention to trial a fuel cell van from First Hydrogen in January as well.

Hydrogen fuel has always been though of as something in the future, but this is changing.

“Ever since I’ve been involved in the fleet industry, hydrogen has been the ‘five years from now’ solution for zero emissions,” said AFT chair Paul Hollick. “Historically, it has never been quite ready for adoption and the promise it represents of almost compromise-free travel never quite materialises.

“Now, however, we are seeing a handful of fleet managers – all van operators – start to take hydrogen seriously,” added Hollick. “That doesn’t mean that the many complications surrounding hydrogen have gone away. For example, clean production of the fuel – known as green hydrogen – remains expensive, while there are probably fewer than 15 public stations across the UK.”

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“These facts in themselves present fleets with some very real, day-to-day problems to solve,” explained Hollick.

Moving in the direction of hydrogen fuel was, according to Hollick, largely triggered by those problems associated with operating a fleet of electric vans.

“Some fleets in some applications are finding that the range and payload of the electric vans available so far remain unsuitable for their needs,” he said.

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