The New Hydrogen Plug In Hybrid Van From Stellantis
10 May 2021
This mid-sized LCV with a 250-mile range is set to be available in early 2022 from Citroën, Peugeot and Vauxhall.
Stellantis is expanding its range of zero-emission light commercial vehicles (LCVs), with a new plug-in hydrogen van that will be available from Citroën, Peugeot and Vauxhall retailers.
This new LCV is going to be based on the same architecture as the Citroën Dispatch, Peugeot Expert and Vauxhall Vivaro, all of which are currently available as battery-electric versions. This new mid-size van will be able to store 4.4kg of liquid hydrogen under the floor of it’s cargo area at 700bar of pressure, as well as an additional 10.5kWh battery that will be housed under the seats. The engine bay will house the rest of the fuel cell system and the electric motor.
Due to this packaging solution, this new hydrogen van will offer the same payload and cargo volume as an ICE equivalent model (up to 1100kg and 6100 litres respectively). It will also have a range of 250-miles, with the ability to be refilled with hydrogen in three minutes, which is similar to the time it takes to refill diesel models.
The battery has been adapted from the range of plug-in hybrid vansd from Stellantis and can be recharged in approximately one hour when charged at a rate of 11kW. Battery-only running is also possible, but this only provides a range of 30 miles.
Thanks to its maximum power and torque of 134bhp and 192lb-ft respectively, the van has a 0-61mph time of 15sec and a top speed of 81mph. In addition to this it is also able to tow up to a tonne in weight.
Steallntis claims that this move towards hydrogen power is due to customer demand and is based on research conducted by the company that showed that the range of their battery-electric vans was lacking, with some customers requiring greater range.
The research found that 83% of its customers drive fewer than 125 miles each day, with 44% never driving more than 185 miles in a day. However, this still leaves a significant number of drivers that require an increased range than is currently provided by their battery-electric vans, as well as having a need for faster refill times.
Despite the launch of this car, for which a left-hand-drive model is planned for the end of 2021, with the UK version coming later, there are still some challenges that will be faced by this new van, primarily around the fuel. These include large-scale production of green hydrogen, a network that allows for hydrogen refilling, the integration of fuel cell systems into the architecture of vehicles, and their cost. Because of this Stellantis still intends to offer a variety of propulsion options despite this move towards the use of hydrogen. It will be interesting to see if there is going to be an increase in hydrogen powered vehicles in the future, as manufacturers look to move away from standard combustion engines.