Delivery giant UPS has unveiled what it is claiming to be the world’s first hydrogen fuel-cell delivery vehicle.

The van, which has a range of 125 miles, will be deployed in Sacramento, California, in the third quarter of 2017. According to UPS, it meets the same route and range requirements as its conventionally powered vehicles.

UPS said the vehicle project – part-funded by the US Department of Energy – “is an important step towards demonstrating the commercial viability of zero tailpipe-emission trucks to fleet operators”.

It’s unlikely that your next fridge will be delivered by a fuel-cell van though – UPS is limiting its testing to California thanks to the state’s investment in zero-emission transport and a number of refuelling stations it has dotted around.

“The challenge we face with fuel-cell technology is to ensure the design can meet the unique operational demands of our delivery vehicles on a commercial scale,” said Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice-president global engineering and sustainability. “This project is an essential step to test the zero tailpipe-emissions technology and vehicle on the road for UPS and the transportation industry.”