Hydrogen-powered cars may sound like science fiction, but we’ve been exploring the potential that they may hold in creating the zero emission fleet of the future.
We have been working with one of our customers, The University of Birmingham, who wanted to operate a hydrogen fuel cell car. We are proud to say that we leased a Hyundai iX35 Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicle to them, and it has been so successful in every day operations at the University that we entered the vehicle into the MPG Marathon, where it won in its category (although it was the only fuel cell vehicle there!).
The MPG Marathon is open to all production cars and commercial vehicles, and challenges competitors to find the most efficient route between checkpoints that are 370 miles apart.
As the only hydrogen powered vehicle in the contest, there was a great deal of interest in the iX35, with people hungry to find out more about how hydrogen-fuelled vehicles work and the potential benefits.
But our Hyundai is no concept car. It’s on active daily service, being used as part of the University’s fleet.
The only emission it produces is harmless water, and it is capable of achieving a far longer range than pure electric power, so it seems clear that the technology will play a central role in the fleets of tomorrow.
By taking part in events like this, we hope to raise the profile of what is achievable as a part of an ultra-low emission fleet strategy.
Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs) that are currently in development have the potential to have a significant impact on a business’ bottom line.
Though the initial investment may be higher, at least in the near term before such technologies are more widely adopted, there are clear cost efficiencies through the whole life of a vehicle.
That ranges from reduced fuel costs to cuts in tax and lower maintenance thanks to improved reliability, and that’s on top of the corporate social responsibility benefits that ULEVs can bring.
The UK fleet market has always been an early adopter of new technology, and electric cars have already made a significant impact on the industry. Now hydrogen power holds the potential to do the same.
We’re investing in these new technologies because we believe it has the potential to achieve real savings and efficiencies for our customers, but most importantly it provides significant environmental benefits.
By sharing our insight, we hope to give fleet managers a glimpse of the future and improve the industry’s awareness of hydrogen power.
Chris Chandler, Principal Consultant, Lex Autolease