ITM Power has signed an agreement with Symbio FCell and Arcola Energy to provide an integrated package of fuel-cell-based 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. (Earlier post.) 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 more than 200 miles (322 km), 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 Power has recently launched a wind to hydrogen refueler near the M1 in Rotherham and announced a strategic partnership with Shell to place three refuelers on forecourts in the UK. Currently, ITM Power is building a total of five refueling 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.
Arcola Energy is an engineering services business offering hydrogen and fuel cell vehicle and fleet services. 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 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.