When we first told you about H2X, we shared the company's initial plans of putting Australia back into the car-producing countries map using FCEVs. We also showed sketches for four vehicles: a van, a minibus, a tractor, and an SUV called Snowy. But that was it; we needed to know more about the company. After we managed to talk to Peter Zienau – Chief Product And Powertrain Officer at H2X – a new sketch emerged. It shows an electric pickup truck.
We first saw it published by CarAdvice on June 15 and immediately asked Zienau about any plans for it. He still had not gotten back in touch with us when CarSales managed to talk to Brendan Norman – H2X CEO – about the pickup truck. H2X's website refers to it as H2Ute/Pick Up. And it raises more questions to it than it answers. What is Pateo Kinetic, for example? We'll get there in a bit.
According to the article, Norman credits the design inspiration to the "Mad Max" movies, something the production version will probably retain. Although the choice seems very fitting and with a lot of character, we wonder how energy efficient it will be.
Gallery: H2X Ute Is A FCEV Pickup Truck That Will Compete With The Nikola Badger
Norman said the company would probably offer a double-cab version of the design presented above. According to the executive, that would be the best body option for Australia. We dare to say it would be the best one for most markets.
That said, we do not have any more information on what such a pickup truck would offer apart from the fact that it will use fuel cells. In that sense, it would compete with the Nikola Badger and save weight compared to an electric pickup truck that relies solely on batteries.
Another image reveals a sort of frame with an embedded hydrogen tank and a massive fuel cell where you would have an engine. A plug on the back makes it seem like there is also a battery pack included – a rechargeable one.
At the same time, the official website contains images that show some of the renderings may belong to other companies. The one showing the hydrogen production network comes from this Thyssenkrupp page on converting methanol to hydrogen. It has even an animation there.
The pickup truck image CarAdvice and CarSales published is not the one on the website. The picture there shows a different brand: Pateo Kinetic. Inside the front grille, you can see a little Australia map with the letters PK inside it.
Even a better tractor image we found on H2X's website seems to have received the H2X logo over a different picture. Was this tractor also from Pateo Kinetic? What about the FCEV frame?
We have tried to discover what this company is or was but had no luck with Google. We will also ask Zienau or Brendan Norman about it. Was that a company H2X bought? Was it a previous name for H2X? We'll figure that out and tell you more about it as soon as we can clarify the story.
For the record, Zienau was not the global project lead for the Chevy Bolt. Zienau was involved with the Chevy Volt and the Opel Ampera development. There was also a Saab project over the same platform called Saab ZE. Would it be related to the Saab 9-3 ZE, or was it the Saab version of the Volt? The last hypothesis seems more likely.
Concerning Ian Thompson, there is no confirmation he was involved with the Tesla Roadster, but he worked at Lotus and led the project for the Global EV at the British automaker. Does that project have anything to do with the Tesla Roadster? Or is their only connection the fact that the Roadster was based on the Lotus Elise?
Regardless of clarifying this, H2X shows it has gathered a respectful team to get its plans going. We wish them the best of luck to give Australia a new car manufacturer and will keep you posted on the answers to the questions this article brings.