Hydrogen van joins CitySprint fleet

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CitySprint has announced the trial of a new hydrogen van in London with its client Mitie, as part of its wider ambition to create a completely emission-free fleet in the capital by 2020.

Specially converted Renault Kangoo ZE vans, built by ARCOLA, will be trialled on distribution work for Mitie over the next six months. Mitie will trial the van on work with a selection of their clients, and CitySprint will assess its capability against its other green vehicles.

The hydrogen van has a range of over 200 miles and is powered by a battery and hydrogen fuel cell, with the hydrogen combining with the air inside to produce electricity which is used to charge the battery or drive the vehicle. This process means it only emits drips of pure water as a result of the chemical reaction between the hydrogen and oxygen.

Alongside this, the business has more than doubled its cargo bike fleet from 10 to 22 after a successful trial. Unlike CitySprint’s standard push bikes, these electrically assisted vehicles can carry the load of a small van – up to 50kg – meaning less congestion on roads and a saving of four tonnes of GHG emissions per annum for each cargo bike that replaces a small van.

In central London, these cargo bikes on average complete jobs up to 50% faster than small vans. These add to CitySprint’s growing green fleet which now includes one of the largest courier cycle fleets in the UK, four electric vans, 22 cargo bikes and one hydrogen van. The business is planning to roll cargo bikes out in other UK cities like Manchester in the future.

Patrick Gallagher, CitySprint Group CEO, said: “Since the launch of our green fleet this August, we’ve already cut back on our CO2 emissions by as much as 10 tonnes.

“The trail of a hydrogen van is on a long list of environmentally friendly vehicles we have tested over the years. We hope that along with our growing cargo bike fleet, this can prove to be a sustainable option and continue our commitment to reducing air pollution across the UK cities we operate in.”

Richard Bartkow, commercial and supply chain director for Mitie’s document management business, said: “Not only is this hydrogen van new for Mitie, it’s a first for the courier services industry too.

“We continually look to new and emerging technologies as our business evolves and offering this service is just one of the many ways we can support both our developing client needs and ensure our courier services are environmentally sustainable.”

As part of its green pledge, CitySprint is also collaborating with FTC 2050 (Freight Traffic Control) – an organisation aiming to reduce energy demands through collaborative logistics. Through the partnership, CitySprint is currently working with a number of Masters students from the University of Southampton to explore ways of creating a greener, more efficient urban operations.

Beyond its fleet, CitySprint’s service centres across the UK operate using zero emission solar or wind energy, and have undergone refurbishments to help improve their energy efficiency.  

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