Aberdeen City Council in Scotland is working with Oxfordshire, England-based micromobility manufacturer, EAV, to develop urban, lightweight electric vehicles equipped with hydrogen fuel cells. The engineering and operations project aims to validate the use of hydrogen fuel cells for sustainable last-mile deliveries.
Supported by investment from the European Union and the Scottish government and managed by the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the project brings together a range of partners including DPD Group, H2Range (an affiliate of DLR), Unicorn Energy, Energy Expo and Brussels University.
Adam Barmby, CEO and founder of EAV, explained, “The use of hydrogen fuel cells in the last- or even mid-mile scenario is a very interesting proposition. Within EAV we observe the development of the rapidly growing electric vehicle market daily. Apart from our concerns over the weight of the increasing number of battery-powered vehicles, we keep questioning where all these batteries are going to come from. It’s a known fact that the raw materials for battery production are in short supply, which is why EAV focuses on weight reduction, so we use less energy and therefore require fewer batteries.
“To take this process even further, we’ve wanted to develop a hydrogen fuel cell option that requires a vehicle to have even fewer batteries as the electricity comes from the hydrogen reaction, which is about as environmentally friendly as you can get.”
EAV will run the fuel cell system on its 2Cubed vehicle platform with its patented Cloudframe chassis, which is now in its third year of development. The 2Cubed has already been successfully tested and is now operated by many delivery businesses across Europe. With the addition of the hydrogen fuel cell technology, EAV hopes to further validate an urban lightweight vehicle with an option for hydrogen fuel, opening up many other possibilities for EAV.
“We’re obsessed with weight at EAV because that’s where energy is used and also wasted,” continued Barmby. “If we’re powered by hydrogen, we can look at the use of these vehicles and seriously consider them completely replacing vans in all towns and cities worldwide. Rapid refueling and deployment, capable of increased loads with better operating efficiency than any current EV or combustion engine van at a significantly lower cost, with no tailpipe emissions or tire or brake particulate pollution. Lightweight means less damage to city roads and pavements, meaning savings for city councils and an altogether safer and more pleasant place to live and work. EAV has a complete Transport Futures program to revolutionize the urban environment, and the hydrogen-powered H2EAV is the next step toward a simply better future.”