ITM Power has announced that it has signed an agreement with Symbio FCell and Arcola Energy to provide an integrated package of zero emission commercial vehicles, on-site fuel and after-sales support for UK commercial fleet operators.
The agreement is to work together to provide fleet customers with the assurance of a one-stop complete solution including preparation, insurance, site approvals, vehicle registration and staff training.
Symbio FCell, a leading designer and manufacturer of Fuel Cell Systems and Range Extenders, has deployed the largest number of fuel cell Range Extender Electric Vehicles (REEV) in Europe with customers such as La Poste, Air Liquide and Schneider Electric. The Renault Kangoo ZE-H2 electric van with fuel cell range extender from Symbio FCell is now in series production and offers a range of over 200 miles, more than double the range of the electric-only van. With a hydrogen refuelling time of less than three minutes, but the ability to plug-in whenever possible, the vehicle provides the best of both worlds for fleet managers and drivers. A similar vehicle, adapted to the Renault Trucks Maxity 4.5 T electric light duty truck is being tested at La Poste and will be commercially available in 2016.
ITM has recently launched a wind to hydrogen refueller near the M1 in Rotherham and announced a strategic partnership with Shell to place three refuellers on forecourts in the UK. Currently, ITM is building a total of five refuelling stations in London. The HFuel product is well suited to fleets of fuel cell vehicles and has demonstrated the principle of refuelling return-to-base fleets in the past. This experience has shown that support from an OEM and the quality of after-sales support for the vehicles is key to fleet customers.
In partnership with Symbio FCell, Arcola Energy offers full technical support and maintenance for the vans and assurance to fleet managers of high reliability and availability. To help fleets realise the benefits and to ensure that drivers are confident working with these cutting-edge technologies, Arcola Energy also provides engaging, hands-on training and education services, as well as supporting wider public communications for local authorities and companies wishing to highlight the benefits of hydrogen powered fleets.
About the Renault Kangoo ZE-H2 by Symbio FCell
• The fuel cell range extender is integrated in the Renault-TECH factory without any structural modification to the vehicle and with full OEM end-of-line quality control.
• In the UK the vans are fully VCA approved and have National Small Series Type Approval (NSSTA).
• As a modified version of the standard Kangoo ZE, the vans are fully supported by Renault dealerships. An EU-wide support hotline is provided to customers.
• The fuel cell produces electricity, heat and water. Electricity produced by the fuel cell is used to charge the battery / drive the motor; the heat produced is captured and used to warm the vehicle cabin in winter.
• With the range extender kit, battery lifetime is also extended because the increased driving range reduces the frequency of deep battery discharge that degrades the battery.
• The range extender kit can be dismounted and re-mounted in a new vehicle if required.
• The 74-litre hydrogen tank has a 15-year service lifetime and a driving range of approximately 360km per full tank, equivalent to 0.5 kg H2 per 100 km. NOTE that this is real driving range. Figures from a key customer are 344.9 km per tank in urban/peri-urban usage with 300 kg payload.
• The refuelling time is less than three minutes.
Graham Cooley, CEO of ITM Power commented; “We are delighted to be working again on the return-to-base fleet refuelling model with commercial vehicles that are backed by an OEM and have a full after-sales support package. We look forward to selling refuelling stations into this important emerging market with Symbio FCell and Arcola Energy as our partners”.
Ben Todd, Managing Director at Arcola Energy commented; “The Symbio FCell zero emission vans combined with ITM Power’s clean hydrogen production means truly low carbon and non-polluting fleets are now possible for UK cities. With rapid changes in environmental regulation in urban centres and emerging uncertainties in the claims made for conventional vehicles, fuel cell electric vehicles are becoming increasing popular, especially with organisations with large urban fleets and central refuelling and maintenance depots.”
Fabio Ferrari, CEO of Symbio FCell, commented; “In order to develop our core business in the design and production of Fuel Cell Systems, we are continuously expanding our team of collaborators, who represent the best-in-class in each area of the fuel cell system. Working with ITM Power and Arcola Energy will allow us to expand deployment of our fleet-ready Renault Kangoo hydrogen fuel cell hybrid vans in the UK.”