UK-based energy firm SSE is the first UK utility to trial First Hydrogen’s hydrogen-powered van in a real-life setting, enabling SSE to evaluate the benefits of hydrogen mobility alongside its growing fleet of EV engineering and maintenance vehicles as an alternative to fossil fuels.
The light commercial vehicle (LCV) has spent the last few weeks operating from one of SSE’s sites in Aberdeen, which is located next to a hydrogen fuel station. After two days’ training, four SSE drivers have been using the First Hydrogen’s vehicle to carry the equipment and tools which play a key part in the engineers’ day-to-day job.
SSE currently operates one of the largest fleets in the UK and has already pledged to switch 2,500 of its vehicles to electric and install charging points for its 11,000 employees to use. SSE vehicles work in a wide variety of operational roles and conditions, from maintaining the electricity network spanning central southern England and the north of Scotland, to navigating the diverse and challenging environments of its hydro and onshore wind farm sites.
First Hydrogen’s fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) can travel further on a single tank of fuel than equivalent battery electric vehicles (BEV) on a single charge and can carry heavier loads without compromising on range. With fast refueling—approximately 5 minutes compared to 5 hours for BEV charging—it also means more vehicle uptime.
The vehicle will be closely monitored throughout the trial via onboard instruments. This helps First Hydrogen’s engineers to understand fuel consumption, mileage, and vehicle performance in different conditions. It also enables them to keep track of the vehicle’s use, location, and status in real-time to keep the drivers and vehicle safe.
First Hydrogen Corp. is a Vancouver, Canada- and London, UK-based company focused on zero-emission vehicles, green hydrogen production and distribution and supercritical carbon dioxide extractor systems. The company has developed hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered light commercial demonstrator vehicles (LCV) under two agreements with AVL Powertrain and Ballard Power Systems Inc. The LCV have a range of 500+ kilometers. At the same time, the company has launched its bespoke vehicle design phase, which will develop its fleet of proprietary zero-emission vehicles. The company is also pursuing opportunities in green hydrogen production and distribution in the UK, Canada, North America, and Europe.
Earlier this month, First Hydrogen signed a feasibility study agreement with Sacré-Davey for the development of a 35MW green hydrogen production facility and vehicle assembly factory in Shawinigan, Québec.
The purpose of the feasibility study is to establish the technical and markets analysis, engineering review, analysis of grid and water constraints, permitting requirements, environmental constraints and a review of distribution and operations. The overarching theme throughout the study is to recognize the combined aim to create a zero-emissions hydrogen ecosystem.
The production facility will use advanced electrolysis and supply the company’s hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered vehicles (FCEV), as well as support other hydrogen-fueled vehicles and applications in the Montréal-Québec City region. The company’s planned FCEV assembly factory will be designed for annual production of 25,000 vehicles per year when at full capacity and, will represent a major boost to green technology jobs in the region.
The green hydrogen market was valued at US$676 million in 2022 and is projected to reach US$7,314 million by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 61% from 2022 to 2027. The market’s growth is attributed to the lowering cost of producing renewable energy by all sources, the development of electrolysis technologies and high demand from FCEVs and the power industry.