Trialling hydrogen vans

We are trialling 5 Renault Kangoo ZE hydrogen vans, another new approach towards cleaner travel and cleaner air in the future.

You’ll probably see our drivers out on the road in them over the next few months and they will be telling us what they think of them; what they feel like to drive, how they sound, how far they go and how it feels to know that there is only water coming out of the tailpipe, not exhaust fumes.

There will be opportunities for the public to see the vans as we want to raise awareness about this new, clean technology. The local hydrogen refuelling station run by ITM Power at the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Park is already on hand and given that they are the world leading manufacturer of sustainable hydrogen, Sheffield will be a key part of the future UK hydrogen fuelling network. Trialling these vans will support their work and the development of hydrogen technology.

We’re particularly interested in sparking interest with companies and organisations in the city that have conventional fleet vehicles now, but would consider using hydrogen vehicles in the future. Not only would they be keeping the air clean, their travel costs would be so much less too. 

How the vans work

You might expect that our vans have normal combustion engines that burn hydrogen, to create heat to power the vehicle. Instead these ‘fuel cell’ vans are more like ‘Range Extender’ electric vehicles. As with normal electric vehicles we charge the battery overnight, the electricity from the battery then provides the power to move the vehicle. The difference is that when the battery gets low on a journey, the hydrogen in the car undergoes a chemical reaction to top up the battery and then produce water out of the tailpipe. This means it can travel further before it needs to be charged again.

There are different ways of fuelling a vehicle to improve emissions and reduce pollution.  New models of normally fuelled vehicles (e.g. petrol) should have improved emissions.  Plug-in electric vehicles have zero tailpipe emissions and many new and improved models are being manufactured.  Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will offer quick refuelling and hundreds of miles on one tank and their only emission is water.

Latest news

As of December 2017 we have 4 of the 5 vans. We will update this page with public events where you’ll be able to have a look at our new vans. 

Follow @AirAwareSheff for the latest updates.