UK first: Electra shows first zero-emission refrigerated hydrogen HGV at the CV Show25 May 2022

Electra Commercial Vehicles showed the first zero-emission refrigerated fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) in the UK during the CV Show.

The 19-tonne hydrogen-powered truck is the first of its kind to go into operation. Electra is also the only manufacturer in the UK which builds both electric and fuel cell battery electric vehicles.

The Electra eCargo FCEV will be on trial with Sainsbury's as part of the Road to Hydrogen – a UK Government-funded project focused on helping the UK solve challenges around zero-emission road freight, linked to the Teesside Multi-Modal Transport Hydrogen Hub.

However, after the show the vehicle will first return to Electra for further testing, Transport Engineer understands.

Ben Smith, MD of Electra Commercial Vehicles, said: “We are very excited for people to view the first fully hydrogen-powered temperature-controlled FCEV in the UK. It is an example of genuine innovation that will help operators transition to authentic zero-emission transport.

“We have created this 19-tonne truck with four type-three cylinders providing it with a capacity of 20 kg of hydrogen at 350 bar. Fitted with a Proton Motors HY45 fuel cell, the vehicle will have an operating timescale of 9-10 hours, after which it can come back to base needing a quick refill of hydrogen so that it can be double shifted.”

Electra has also partnered with Element 2 to provide hydrogen refuelling.

Electra has deliberately designed the vehicle with an over-specified battery pack of 225kWh. After the trials have been completed, this will be reduced to 80kWh. For the Tees Valley project, where it will be collecting data, Electra required contingency in its ability to return to base.

The truck has been built on a standard IVECO Eurocargo glider chassis equipped with a Solomon insulated flexible split-compartment refrigeration body with a tuck-under-tail lift. The Carrier Iceland Split Refrigeration System is also powered by hydrogen with an EV Powerbox inverter.

The Electra eCargo FCEV can operate for 8-10 hours on the hydrogen storage system's reserve. However, it can significantly extend the distance that the vehicle can accommodate and return to base with a charge of 100%. It opens the opportunity to double shift the HGV with a short break to refuel.

Smith added: “The tried-and-tested FCEV combinations we previously built have demonstrated that an 8-hour operational multi-drop urban shift is easily achievable. We cannot wait until visitors at the CV show find out that transitioning to hydrogen is not nearly as complicated as it might seem.”

Transport Engineer

Related Companies
Electra Commercial Vehicles Ltd
Solomon Commercials Ltd

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