Electra to show the first zero-emission refrigerated hydrogen HGV at the CV Show in a UK first

Electra Commercial Vehicles will be showcasing the first zero-emission refrigerated fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) in the UK during the CV Show at the Solomon stand – 5a46.

The 19-tonne hydrogen-powered truck is the first of its kind to go into operation and will significantly help operators move towards zero-emissions logistics. Electra is also the only manufacturer in the UK which builds both electric and fuel cell battery electric vehicles.

The Electra eCargo FCEV will be on trial with Sainsbury’s as part of the Road to Hydrogen – a UK Government-funded project focused on helping the UK solve challenges around zero-emission road freight, linked to the Teesside Multi-Modal Transport Hydrogen Hub.

However, the Electra, eCargo FCEV, is making its way down to Birmingham to be on display from 24-26 May at the NEC.

Genuine innovation at the CV Show

Ben Smith, MD of Electra Commercial Vehicles, comments: ‘We are very excited for people to view the first fully hydrogen-powered temperature-controlled FCEV in the UK. It is an example of genuine innovation that will help operators transition to authentic zero-emission transport.

‘We have created this 19-tonne truck with four type three cylinders providing it with a capacity of 20 kg of hydrogen @350 bar. Fitted with a Proton Motors HY45 fuel cell, the vehicle will have an operating timescale of 9-10 hours, after which it can come back to base needing a quick refill of hydrogen so that it can be double shifted.’

Hydrogen supplied on-site

Electra has the unique capacity to offer its customers with a full turnkey solution for hydrogen supply through its partnership with Element 2, the UK’s leading hydrogen refuelling business.

By working with Element 2, Electra can deliver clean, green hydrogen with on-site refuelling trailers, so operators can run their fuel cell vehicles from anywhere in the UK – without the need to invest in extensive and expensive infrastructure.

‘The partnership is removing barriers to entry and helping our clients transition to zero-emission Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles. We are the first in the UK to deliver a complete and holistic hydrogen transport solution for trucks,’ highlighted Ben.

No compromise on range

Visitors to the CV Show will see that Electra has deliberately designed the vehicle with an over-specified battery pack of 225kWh. After the trials have been completed, this will be reduced to 80kWh. For the Tees Valley project, where it will be collecting data, Electra required contingency in its ability to return to base.

The truck has been built on a standard Iveco Eurocargo glider chassis equipped with a Solomon insulated flexible split-compartment refrigeration body with a tuck-under-tail lift. The Carrier Iceland Split Refrigeration System is also powered by hydrogen with an EV Powerbox inverter.

Supreme flexibility

Ben comments: ‘The integration and installation of the fuel cell and hydrogen storage system provides supreme flexibility to the base electric vehicle platform. We expect this will extend the geographic capability of the vehicle from an urban environment to one that can comfortably achieve regional distribution.’

The Electra eCargo FCEV can operate for 8-10 hours on the hydrogen storage system’s reserve. However, it can significantly extend the distance that the vehicle can accommodate and return to base with a charge of 100%. It opens the opportunity to double shift the HGV with a short break to refuel. 

‘The tried-and-tested FCEV combinations we previously built have demonstrated that an 8-hour operational multi-drop urban shift is easily achievable. We cannot wait until visitors at the CV show find out that transitioning to hydrogen is not nearly as complicated as it might seem,’ he commented.

Electra now designs this platform for various applications such as tractor units, RCVs, sweepers, spreaders and many more. To find out how to transition to clean, green, zero-emission transport or for an interview about the FCEV at the CV Show, please, contact Ben Smith.