Fleet News

Hydrogen fleets one step closer to reality

A groundbreaking hydrogen fleet is inviting interested fleet managers to visit its facilities to share their knowledge and experience.

The University of Birmingham has launched what it claims is the only hydrogen gas fuelling station in England, and will be conducting comparison tests of five fuel cell cars against its fleet of petrol, diesel and electric vehicles.

The university believes the fuelling station, situated on its Edgbaston campus, is the first step in building a nationwide network, and hopes the public sector and business fleets will become early adopters of the green technology.

The filling station is part of a two-year research study into hydrogen fuel technology.

If successful, the university hopes it will be able to commercialise the project in the third year, with fuel cell vehicles taking over duties such as delivering post and catering around its campuses on a full-time basis.

Over the course of the research, the university’s Department of Chemical Engineering is keen to hear the thoughts of fleets.

A spokesperson said: “We would absolutely be keen to hear from interested parties who want to come and see what we’re doing and how the hydrogen infrastructure could be developed.”

Professor Kevin Kendall, lead investigator at the university, said: “We are delighted to be the home of England’s only hydrogen gas filling station.

"It is absolutely necessary that we have the means to refuel our fleet of hydrogen powered cars so that we can carry out our research project into the feasibility of hydrogen in a transport context.”

The vehicles used in the test will be Microcabs, small urban fuel cell vehicles with a maximum speed of 40mph with a range, on a full hydrogen tank, of around 100miles.

They were designed at Coventry University for light delivery and taxi duties.

The project is being part-funded by the Regional Development Agency Advantage West Midlands, as part of Birmingham’s Science City hydrogen energy project.

Fleet managers interested in learning more about the project should email Professor Kendall: k.kendall@bham.ac.uk for more details.
 

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