Stellantis will launch three hydrogen plug-in hybrid vans based on the existing Citroen Dispatch, Peugeot Expert and Vauxhall Vivaro.
The new zero-emission models are being billed as the solution for fleets that require more range and faster refill times than is currently available from an electric van.
Sales in left-hand-drive markets will commence before the end of the year, while the new powertrain will be offered in the UK in 2022.
The vehicles can store 4.4Kg of liquid hydrogen in chassis-mounted tanks, while a rechargeable 10.5kWh battery contributes to a total range of 250 miles.
Stellantis says the hydrogen tank can be refilled in just three minutes – similar to a diesel van – and the battery can provide a range of 30 miles on its own when fully charged, which takes about an hour.
Harald Wester, head of Stellantis engineering, said: “As we look further into the future, hydrogen fuel cells show great promise – especially for light commercial vehicles – as the next level of zero emission propulsion technology. The technology will fulfil customer range expectations combined with towing and payload capacity.
“At Stellantis, we believe that light commercial vehicles zero emission offers shall meet all customer demands and user profiles, to ensure sustainable delivery activities, in line with environmental stakes.”
The van’s hydrogen fuel cell is integrated under the bonnet and its hydrogen tanks are placed under the floor where the battery would usually be on electric models. This means there is no impact on the available cargo space or payload.
When driving, electricity supplied by the fuel cell powers the electric motor. The battery is used at low speeds and to boost acceleration. A recuperation system feeds waste energy back into the battery.
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