Ford Plans to Test a Small Fleet of Hydrogen Fuel Cell E-Transit Vans in the UK

Hydrogen-Fuel Cell E-Transit Vans

The Ford Motor Company announced on Tuesday that it will begin testing a small fleet of prototype hydrogen fuel-cell versions of its electric E-Transit model to determine whether or not they are a practical option for customers moving large products over long distances that produce zero emissions.

The initiative will take place over a period of three years, and Ford will serve as the project’s leader. Other participants in the collaboration include BP, which will concentrate on hydrogen and infrastructure, and the British online grocer and technology business Ocado.

“Ford believes that the primary application of fuel cells could be in its largest and heaviest commercial vehicles to ensure that they are emission-free, while satisfying the high daily energy requirements that our customers demand,” Ford’s UK chairman Tim Slatter said in a statement. The remark was made by Ford in the United Kingdom. Fleet operators who are seeking for a more realistic alternative to electric vehicles, as well as increased government subsidies, particularly the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in the United States, are providing a boost to interest in employing hydrogen fuel cells to power trucks and vans.

Proponents of hydrogen fuel cells and certain long-haul fleet operators argue that batteries are too heavy, take too long to charge, and could overload power grids. This is despite the fact that the majority of the world’s internal combustion engine cars and short-distance vans and lorries ought to be replaced by battery electric vehicles (BEVs) over the next two decades.

Vehicles equipped with hydrogen fuel cells, in which hydrogen combines with oxygen to produce water and energy to charge a battery, have the ability to refuel in a matter of minutes and have a range that is significantly greater than that of vehicles equipped with battery electric vehicles (BEVs).

However, there are significant obstacles that need to be conquered before hydrogen fuel cells can be utilized on a widespread scale. These obstacles include a dearth of refueling stations as well as hydrogen that is produced in an environmentally friendly manner by making use of renewable energy sources.

The Advanced Propulsion Centre, a joint venture between the government and the automotive sector, is providing some of the funding for the research.

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