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Consortium to deliver zero-emission range-extended LCVs for fleets

Announced by Business Secretary Vince Cable, the four projects are being run through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) and include a £6.3m grant for a hydrogen fuel cell range extender for electric light commercial vehicle fleets in a joint £12.7m project led by Intelligent Energy.

By integrating fuel cell technology into battery electric vehicles (BEVs), the consortium will deliver the capability to provide low carbon LCVs with significantly improved range and rapid refuelling.

The three-year project, utilising Intelligent Energy’s world leading fuel cell technology, is to develop validated systems and vehicle conversion expertise ready for volume manufacture for low emission vans. The goal is also to provide fleet operators with a solution that enables emission-free vehicle operation for extended periods.

In addition to lead partner Intelligent Energy, the consortium partners comprise Frost EV, Frost Electronics, Millbrook, CENEX, British Gas and DHL.

Intelligent Energy’s Motive Division managing director, James Batchelor said: “Ever-tightening legislation to decarbonise road transport, such as the introduction of Low and Ultra Low Emission Zones, and the accelerating roll out of hydrogen refuelling infrastructure provide a real commercial imperative for the widespread adoption of hydrogen fuel cell technology.”

He concluded: “By the end of the project, vehicles will be delivered using Intelligent Energy’s class-leading fuel cell technology built to automotive standards, ready for extensive fleet use. The relationships formed as a result of this programme will help to develop a mature supply chain and commercial framework, in turn supporting the expansion of hydrogen infrastructure, with the expectation that this will lead to the availability of fuel cells at scale.”

Other projects announced in the joint industry and government programme will develop high efficiency transmissions and create the next generation of electric and hybrid buses.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Green technology is needed to drive the cars of the future, and British designers and manufacturers must continue to lead innovators in this field. With projects as diverse as developing high efficiency transmissions to creating a new generation of electric and hybrid buses, the Advanced Propulsion Centre is one of the driving forces behind the development of new technology to fuel the green engines of the future, enabling our car industry to be truly world beating.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news - or gossip.

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