Fleet News

Hydrogen set to lead clean fuel revolution

BRITAIN'S first hydrogen car has taken to the streets of London amid claims that commercial vehicle fleets are set to spearhead the future of the ultimate clean fuel. With efficiency costs at almost a third of those for diesel engines and half of liquefied petroleum gas, Zevco, developer of the new vehicle, claims van fleet operators will be queuing up to convert.

And at the launch of the vehicle outside the House of Commons the boss of Shell UK claimed hydrogen fuel cell-powered cars were the future and would be on sale in Europe and the USA by 2005. As the first hydrogen-powered car - a London taxi - was taking to the capital's roads, Zevco claimed by the end of this year it would be joined by a further five taxis, with the fleet due to hit 50 by the end of next year and 100 within 18 months.

Westminster City Council - which already has a major 'green' transport scheme - has taken delivery of a hydrogen-powered van. The van will be operated by the council's parks department and despite costing £33,135 - almost twice the price of a typical Ford Transit. Zevco is confident fleets will recoup the cost over a 10-year lifespan.

Zevco chief executive Nick Abson said: 'For at least the next five years we will be concentrating on taxis and commercial fleets, demonstrating to them how much money can be saved. And when the commercial and taxi sectors have converted, the car industry can reap the rewards of an already established infrastructure.'

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