Plug Power and Workhorse have delivered to FedEx Express its first North American fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) delivery van for on-road use.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Extended-Range Battery Electric Vehicles Demonstration project (source: DOE)

The vehicle, developed under the $3 million Hydrogen Fuel Cell Extended-Range Battery Electric Vehicles Demonstration project, is based on the Workhorse Class-5 EGEN delivery van, which normally would be equipped with 80 kWh battery, 200 kW motor (TM4) and 20 kW BMW range-extender (from i3).

The range of EGEN was 60 miles (96 km) on battery (120 miles using range-extender).

The idea for the project was to replace the range-extender with two hydrogen fuel cell systems - 2x 10 kW and six tanks of hydrogen (11.6 kg @ 350 bar). The range increased to 160 miles (258 km), including 60 miles on battery alone. The fuel cell system was supplied by Plug Power.

The ProGen Fuel Cell-Powered Electric Delivery Van already covered some 3,000 miles and is expected to cover 27,000 miles in standard FedEx Express service during the first six-months. Then an additional 20 are to be built.

"The class 5 zero emission EGEN delivery van is built by Workhorse Group and charged by a Plug Power ProGen hydrogen engine. The vehicle is currently in service at the FedEx facility in Menands, NY. The ProGen-powered electric delivery van is one of the first of its kind to operate in a standard commercial environment and is deployed on a standard delivery route for FedEx. The Workhorse EGEN class 5, zero emission delivery trucks are designed to meet the needs and expectations of daily delivery duty cycles, as well as save delivery fleet buyers fuel and operational costs, dramatically reducing total cost of ownership over the lifetime of the vehicle."

"The addition of Plug Power’s ProGen fuel cell enables the vehicle range to exceed 160 miles per delivery cycle, a 166% increase over standard battery power alone. To date, the new FCEV has already accumulated more than 3,000 on-road miles in initial tests, and is expected to accumulate more than 27,000 miles of on-road driving time in the first six months.

The vehicle refuels using a Plug Power hydrogen fuel station located in Latham, New York. This fueling station is the first hydrogen fueling station in New York State’s Capital Region and one of the first hydrogen refueling stations on the East Coast for on-road vehicles. The FCEV delivery van is currently fueling and operating through a broad weather spectrum, including rain, snow and cold temperatures."

"Plug Power’s technology, including its modular ProGen hydrogen engine platform, is powering the electrification of mobility today. In addition to the FedEx FCEV delivery van, Plug Power has 20,000 deployed fuel cells and greater than 150 million run hours in mobility applications.

The Department Of Energy’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy supports early stage R&D that enables progress in hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, and has collaborated with Plug Power, FedEx, and Workhorse on this work."

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Extended-Range Battery Electric Vehicles Demonstration project (source: DOE)

Workhorse CEO Steve Burns said:

"The Workhorse EGEN zero-emission delivery vehicle has reinvented package delivery. With the capability of charging enroute, via the  onboard ProGen hydrogen engine, range anxiety is virtually eliminated."

Mitch Jackson, Chief Sustainability Officer, FedEx Corp. said:

“FedEx is committed to investing in safer and more sustainable transportation solutions in its global network. As part of our Reduce, Replace, Revolutionize vehicle strategy, this is one way we’re working to revolutionize transportation while making our communities more livable.”

Plug Power CEO Andy Marsh said:

“Plug Power remains the leader in developing and deploying hydrogen fuel cell solutions for electric vehicle platforms, and this collaboration with Workhorse and FedEx is the beginning of a hydrogen transformation in the delivery van industry. Opportunities to provide on-road customers with business-improving power solutions, as we have in our collaboration with FedEx, builds on our significant experience transforming the way our clients in the material handling industry do business.”

source: Hydrogen Fuel Cell Extended-Range Battery Electric Vehicles Demonstration via Green Car Congress

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