Zero-emission vehicle and green hydrogen company First Hydrogen is set to begin fleet trials of hydrogen-powered vans.

Two MAN eTGE vans equipped with First Hydrogen’s FCE1 fuel cell propulsion system are on schedule for testing and on-road commissioning starting later this month, and will be ready for real-world usage trials in early 2023.

Ten fleet operators are said to have expressed interest in trialling the vehicles, including telecoms, express delivery, utilities and infrastructure companies, as well as a supermarket chain, a vehicle breakdown and recovery association, an ambulance fleet, and a fleet leasing group. 

The fleet trials will operate across multiple UK locations from West London, Birmingham and Sheffield, to Tees Valley and Aberdeen.

The trials are to be held in collaboration with the Aggregated Hydrogen Freight Consortium, managed by Element Energy.

First Hydrogen Automotive CEO Steve Gill said: “We are excited to work with Element Energy and to bring our technology directly to fleet companies, demonstrating the benefits of fuel cell powered light commercial vehicles. 

“It is a great opportunity for us to generate customer interest in our vehicles and gain first-hand customer and driver feedback to contribute to our bespoke vehicle development program.”

Element Energy principal consultant William Darby said: “After hearing about the First Hydrogen van product, we knew this would spark a lot of interest from our van operator group. 

“We are looking forward to working with First Hydrogen to ensure the trial meets the needs of each operator, whilst also providing First Hydrogen with the information and support it needs to continue developing the product.”