UK: Ford spearheads H2 consortium

Ford is testing hydrogen fuel cell technology for its E-Transit. The carmaker is spearheading a consortium in the UK to test whether the technology suits customers with “energy-intensive use cases”.

Throughout the three-year project, a fleet of eight Ford E-Transits with fuel cell technology will run for six months at a time. The goal is to collect data on the total cost of ownership and operating costs. The consortium will also determine what type and how much hydrogen refuelling infrastructure is required to operate the fleets. Project partner Bp will lead that part.

“Ford believes that the primary application of fuel cells could be in its largest, heaviest CVs to ensure they are emission-free, while satisfying the high daily energy requirements our customers demand”, says Tim Slatter, chair of Ford in Britain.

Another focus is on recycling: As Ford writes in its statement, the project will also “evaluate efficient and viable recycling for end-of-life components”. However, the company does not go into further detail.

The carmaker is also keeping concrete details about the powertrain under wraps. It only writes that the “prototype Ford E-Transits will be fitted with a high-power fuel cell stack, in conjunction with significant hydrogen storage capability, optimised for safety, capacity, cost, and weight”.

The consortium includes “six automotive technology leader and fleet operator partners”. These are Ford, Ocado Retail, Bp, Cambustion, Viritech, and Cygnet Texkimp. It is partly funded by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC).


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