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Fuel Cells linked to suitable capacity storage cylinders, when combined in a convenient pack, and allied to control electronics with quick release connectors, could provide the range and charging solution that many fleet operators are looking for to be able to clean up the air in cities and towns.




Transitioning towards Zero Emission Vehicles: feasibility studies - onboard

Under this scheme, UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £7million to develop on-vehicle solutions that address challenges associated with the transition to zero emission vehicles. Funding is from the Office of Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV).

"Tackling on vehicle technological challenges associated with under 3.5tonne commercial vehicles, including fleets, to improve operational performance or total cost of ownership."


As per Challenge 1, the proposed range extending Kit, improves operational performance directly, by allowing vehicles with limited battery range, to not only increase range, but also to be able to take advantage of dual fuel capability.


Dual fuel capability means that the vans so equipped have more refuelling options in the early days of infrastructure insecurity, also known as range anxiety. Where transitional arrangements consist of a somewhat blunderbuss approach from policy makers desperately looking for solutions with the carrot of R&D grants, and even then, what might come out of the melting pot is far from a sure-thing for fleet operators gazing into their crystal balls for investment guidance.


Dual-Fuel means that the ability to slow charge by plugging in at night, is supplemented by instant recharging via cartridge exchange, and while that is not available, by simply filling up with hydrogen gas or liquid, if there is a suitable supply en-route. This feature virtually eliminates downtime, where there is a hydrogen supply infrastructure to tap into. And that is part of the chicken and egg scenario we are looking to overcome.


In circumstances where there is a hydrogen infrastructure, fleet operators will be able to plan longer delivery routes, to include refuelling stops, so increasing the flexibility and range for their delivery drivers.


Challenge 1 – Improve ZEV range capability

Challenge 2 – Increase adoption of small commercial ZEVs

Challenge 3 – Support transition to zero emission for special use vehicles

Challenge 4 – Improve ZEV user experience

Challenge 5 – Improve sustainability of ZEV



Research categories


The OZEV will fund industrial research and experimental development projects as defined in their guidance on categories of research.






The FCH-JU have just advertised a call for tenders in an amount of €200,000 EUR, for a study, looking to define:


"The subject of this call for tenders is to provide evidence, through a comprehensive study, of the possible optimal blend between electric recharging and hydrogen refueling infrastructure covering the full spectrum of road transport applications. The study should allow to assess, both per Member State and at European level, the best way to deploy these infrastructures, the synergies and interactions with other existing ones. The results may be used to provide the input necessary for stakeholders on which possible deployment strategies for electric charging and hydrogen refueling for all the various transport modes."


Tender reference number FCH / OP / CONTRACT NO. 296


Title Study on Impact of Deployment of battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) and Fuel Cells Electric Vehicles (FCEV) Infrastructure




OZEV Office for Zero Emission Vehicles












FIAT DUCATO CONVERSION - The Chief Executive of West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust, Anthony Marsh, is quoted as saying: “West Midlands Ambulance Service has been at the forefront of developing ambulance technology along with our partner VCS.

“By using aircraft assembly techniques during the construction of our ambulances, we have created the most hi-tech and lightest ambulances in the country which reduces our impact on the environment by reducing CO2 levels and ensures that patients receive the highest standards of safety and comfort.

“It is therefore a logical next step for us to be the first ambulance service in the country to introduce a fully electric ambulance.”


Powered by lithium-ion batteries situated in the underside of the all-electric ambulance floor pan in a specifically designed and compliant enclosure, and a low centre of gravity, the Electric Dual Crwed Ambulance (E-DCA) conversion has a power output of 129bhp (96kW). It has a top speed of 75mph and can achieve a range of 105-110 miles with a recharge time of 4.25 hours.


Ambulances could benefit from another 200-300 miles in range with the addition of an REK (Range Extending Kit) Hydrogen Battery accessory.




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