FedEx Express is trialling a hydrogen-powered vehicle for the first time in Europe. The Renault Master Van H2-Tech will be used for daily parcel pickups and delivery operations in Utrecht, Netherlands, for two weeks.
The van, which has a range of 400km, can be refueled in under five minutes with 6kg of hydrogen gas, which is used to generate electricity through a 30kW fuel cell, providing power to the e-motor. An onboard 33kWh lithium-ion battery is recharged by the fuel cell during use, enabling pure electric range capacity if required.
The vehicle will refuel nearby at Greenpoint, an existing 700 bar hydrogen refueling station approximately 15km from the FedEx facility.
Marius Penninks, VP ground operations Benelux, FedEx Express Europe, said, “It’s important to stay curious about solutions that can reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. This trial offers us first-hand experience using a vehicle of this type, an opportunity to hear from our drivers about the driving experience, and a chance to uncover any benefits or limitations of the technology, in the context of a real-world logistics environment.”
As part of an ambition to achieve carbon-neutral operations by 2040, FedEx Express has begun electrifying its parcel pickup and delivery fleet in Europe and elsewhere, gradually replacing retiring diesel vehicles with battery-electric technology.
Line-haul trucking, however, is one area where it’s less possible to make an immediate dent in emissions with the technologies and infrastructure available today. The emergence of hydrogen production facilities in countries like the Netherlands means associated infrastructure could bring co-benefits to the transportation sector.
Julien Etienne, chief commercial officer, Hyvia, which manufactures the van, said, “Hyvia is inventing a new hydrogen mobility offer, pioneering and reassuring mobility that brings value to professional customers engaged in the energy transition. We are proud to support FedEx Express Europe with this first hydrogen-powered vehicle pilot in the Netherlands.”