FedEx Express Europe has commenced a trial of a hydrogen-powered vehicle in its pickup and delivery operations in Utrecht, Netherlands. This marks the first time FedEx Express has explored hydrogen technologies in Europe, aiming to gain early insights into new solutions for sectors striving to decarbonize, with potential applications in transportation networks.
The vehicle under trial, the Renault Master Van H2-TECH, is manufactured by HYVIA, a joint venture between Renault Group and Plug. It boasts the ability to be refueled in under 5 minutes with 6kg of hydrogen gas, powering a 30kW fuel cell that generates electricity for the eMotor. Additionally, an on-board 33kWh lithium-ion battery is recharged during operation, providing pure electric range capacity if needed.
During the two-week trial period, FedEx Express will integrate the van into its daily operations for parcel pickups and deliveries in the Utrecht area. Marius Penninks, VP Ground Operations Benelux at FedEx Express Europe, stated, “It's important to stay curious about solutions that can reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. This trial offers us first-hand experience using a vehicle of this type, an opportunity to hear from our drivers about the driving experience, and a chance to uncover any benefits or limitations of the technology, in the context of a real-world logistics environment.”
The vehicle, with dimensions and specifications comparable to the current fleet, offers a range of 400km, aligning well with typical daily route requirements. Refueling will take place nearby at Greenpoint, an existing 700 bars hydrogen refueling station situated approximately 15km from the FedEx facility.
The trial underscores the significance of green energy in the sustainable scaling of both battery electric and hydrogen solutions for transport. As part of its ambition to achieve carbon-neutral operations by 2040, FedEx Express has begun electrifying its parcel pickup and delivery fleet in Europe and elsewhere, gradually replacing retiring diesel vehicles with battery-electric technology.
Julien Etienne, Chief Commercial Officer of Hyvia, expressed pride in supporting FedEx Express Europe with the trial of the first hydrogen-powered vehicle in the Netherlands, emphasizing HYVIA's commitment to providing innovative hydrogen mobility solutions. Etienne said, “HYVIA is inventing a new hydrogen mobility offer, pioneering and reassuring mobility that brings value to professional customers engaged in the energy transition.”