First Hydrogen’s first-of-its-kind light commercial vehicle (LCV) has been delivered to Rivus, the award-winning fleet management provider, to commence road trials.

First Hydrogen’s fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) has been received at Rivus’ Support Centre in Birmingham, UK. First Hydrogen’s engineers joined the Rivus team for driver briefings and to familiarise the Rivus team with the vehicle. For the next month the LCV will be driven on selected routes and over varied terrain around the Birmingham and South Yorkshire areas. It will carry payloads of various sizes to measure vehicle performance on real-life duty cycles.

Onboard instruments will collect valuable data on fuel consumption, mileage and vehicle efficiency. This information will help First Hydrogen to optimise vehicle configuration and enhance Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) data. Furthermore, Rivus will be able to directly compare First Hydrogen’s FCEV with battery electric vehicles (BEV) and traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles when driving the same routes, under the same driving conditions. From its findings, Rivus will produce its own independent analysis of the performance of First Hydrogen’s hydrogen-powered LCV. The results are intended to provide Rivus customers and fleet managers with insight into the benefits and practicality of hydrogen as an alternative fuel.

First Hydrogen has also installed GPS and safety technology using a cloud-based system enabling its engineers to access information on the vehicle’s use, location, and status in real-time. This will ensure the safety and security of drivers as well as optimal vehicle performance in a range of driving conditions.

The vehicle trials have been co-ordinated with the UK Aggregated Hydrogen Freight Consortium (AHFC) and Rivus is the first Fleet Management user to start operational tests with First Hydrogen. 16 major fleet operators from industries including grocery, delivery, utilities, and healthcare have already registered an interest in taking part in the 12-18-month vehicle evaluation. Rivus supports some of the UK’s largest and most critical fleets and manages approximately 120,000 vehicles, including approximately 85,000 LCVs.

Steve Gill, CEO Automotive at First Hydrogen comments: “We hope that the team at Rivus will enjoy putting our vehicle through its paces and experiencing first-hand how zero emission technology can perform in vehicles of this size. Rivus is experienced in working with fleet vehicles and supporting fleet managers every day. We trust that their feedback will help us to make improvements and help us to create a zero-emission mobility solution that meets fleet managers’ demands.

Thomas Maerz, Chief Development Officer  at Rivus, says: Our Alternative Fuel team are eager to see how the fuel cell LCV performs. We have designed several routes and duty cycles, which will test how vehicles run under different driving conditions; First Hydrogen’s LCV will be undertaking the same exercises we have completed with BEV and ICE vehicles allowing us to deliver  accurate assessments on performance to our customers. We can’t wait to get started!”