Vauxhall has unveiled a new hydrogen-powered zero emissions Vivaro-e HYDROGEN light commercial vehicle. With a range of up to 249 miles, it refuels in just three minutes and has a cargo volume up to 6.1m3 – the same as the diesel or battery electric versions.
Vauxhall is actively speaking to business customers in the UK about hydrogen fuel cell technology and expects right-hand drive vehicles to arrive in 2023. Sister brand Opel plans to start delivering the first left-hand drive vehicles to fleet customers in autumn/winter 2021. The Vivaro-e HYDROGEN will be assembled at Vauxhall/Opel’s Research and Development Centre in Rüsselsheim, Germany.
The new fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) is based on the existing battery electric Vivaro-e with two sliding side-doors. The plug-in fuel-cell concept of the Vivaro-e HYDROGEN enables the integration of the whole fuel cell system with the existing traction motor under the bonnet of the production vehicle.
In addition, the battery of the Vivaro-e BEV (battery electric vehicle) is replaced by three 700- bar hydrogen tanks with no impact on the 5.3m3 to 6.1 m3 of cargo space.
Vauxhall claims the Vivaro-e HYDROGEN with its 45kW fuel cell is capable of generating enough power for continuous motorway driving, while the 10.5kWh lithium-ion battery, located under the front seats, provides dynamic peak power when required – for example, at start-up and under acceleration.
Since the battery covers power needs in such situations, the fuel cell can run at optimum operating conditions, claims Vauxhall. The battery also enables regenerative braking, while the plug-in capability offers the opportunity to recharge the battery externally if necessary.
Says Paul Willcox, Managing Director, Vauxhall:
“Vauxhall is already leading the way with an all-electric van range, and now we are set to add hydrogen to the line-up as an efficient energy system of the future. Vauxhall-Opel has more than 20 years of experience in developing hydrogen fuel technology which offers zero emissions-in-use, a long driving range and ultra-fast refuelling.
“We are already in contact with UK fleet operators that want to go the extra mile on sustainability and we look forward to bringing Vivaro-e HYDROGEN to the UK soon.”