Arcola Energy, the hydrogen and fuel cell engineering services company, is pleased to announce that it has signed an agreement with Symbio FCell and ITM Power to provide an integrated package of zero emission commercial vehicles, on-site fuel and after-sales support for UK commercial fleet operators.

The agreement is to work together to provide fleet customers with the assurance of a one-stop complete solution including preparation, insurance, site approvals, vehicle registration and staff training.

Symbio FCell, a leading designer and manufacturer of Fuel Cell Systems and Range Extenders, has deployed the largest number of fuel cell Range Extender Electric Vehicles (REEV) in Europe with customers such as La Poste, Air Liquide and Schneider Electric.  The Renault Kangoo ZE-H2 electric van with fuel cell range extender from Symbio FCell is now in series production and offers a range of over 200 miles, more than double the range of the electric-only van.  With a hydrogen refuelling time of less than three minutes, but the ability to plug-in whenever possible, the vehicle provides the best of both worlds for fleet managers and drivers. 

ITM Power has recently launched a wind to hydrogen refueller near the M1 in Rotherham and announced a strategic partnership with Shell to place three refuellers on forecourts in the UK.  Currently, ITM Power is building a total of five refuelling stations in London.  The HFuel product is well suited to fleets of fuel cell vehicles and has demonstrated the principle of refuelling return-to-base fleets in the past.  This experience has shown that support from an OEM and the quality of after-sales support for the vehicles is key to fleet customers.

Arcola Energy is an engineering services business offering hydrogen and fuel cell vehicle and fleet services.  In partnership with Symbio FCell, Arcola Energy offers full technical support and maintenance for the vans and assurance to fleet managers of high reliability and availability.  To help fleets realise the benefits and to ensure that drivers are confident working with these cutting-edge technologies, Arcola Energy also provides engaging, hands-on training and education services,   as well as supporting wider public communications for local authorities and companies wishing to highlight the benefits of hydrogen powered fleets.

About the Renault Kangoo ZE-H2 by Symbio FCell

  • The fuel cell range extender is integrated without any structural modification to the vehicle and with full OEM end-of-line quality control.
  • The fuel cell produces electricity, heat and water.  Electricity produced by the fuel cell is used to charge the battery / drive the motor; the heat produced is captured and used to warm the vehicle cabin in winter.
  • With the range extender kit, battery lifetime is also extended because the increased driving range reduces the frequency of deep battery discharge that degrades the battery.
  • The range extender kit can be dismounted and re-mounted in a new vehicle if required.
  • The 74-litre hydrogen tank has a 15-year service lifetime and a driving range of approximately 360km per full tank, equivalent to 0.5 kg H2 per 100 km.  NOTE that this is real driving range.  Figures from a key customer are 344.9 km per tank in urban/peri-urban usage with 300 kg payload.
  • The refuelling time is less than three minutes.

Graham Cooley, CEO of ITM Power commented; “We are delighted to be working again on the return-to-base fleet refuelling model with commercial vehicles that are backed by an OEM and have a full after-sales support package.  We look forward to selling refuelling stations into this important emerging market with Symbio FCell and Arcola Energy as our partners”.

Ben Todd, Managing Director at Arcola Energy commented; “The Symbio FCell zero emission vans combined with ITM Power’s clean hydrogen production means truly low carbon and non-polluting fleets are now possible for UK cities.  With rapid changes in environmental regulation in urban centres and emerging uncertainties in the claims made for conventional vehicles, fuel cell electric vehicles are becoming increasing popular, especially with organisations with large urban fleets and central refuelling and maintenance depots.”

Fabio Ferrari, CEO of Symbio FCell, commented; “In order to develop our core business in the design and production of Fuel Cell Systems, we are continuously expanding our team of collaborators, who represent the best-in-class in each area of the fuel cell system.  Working with ITM Power and Arcola Energy will allow us to expand deployment of our fleet-ready Renault Kangoo hydrogen fuel cell hybrid vans in the UK.”

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About Symbio FCell:

Symbio FCell is a French company, based in Paris and Grenoble, established in February 2010, using Fuel Cell technology developed originally by CEA. The company specialises in the design and industrialization of hydrogen fuel cell systems and targets market segments in the 5 kW to 300 kW power range. Its first commercial success has been Range Extender Electric Vehicles (REEV). In 2015 Michelin took a significant minority stake in the company providing resources to finance product industrialization and business development. Symbio FCell will have sold 200 REEV by the end of 2015, is expecting to sell 1000 in 2016, and between 2000 and 5000 per year from 2017 onwards.

 About ITM Power plc:

ITM Power manufactures integrated hydrogen energy solutions which are rapid response and high pressure that meet the requirements for grid balancing and energy storage services, and for the production of clean fuel for transport, renewable heat and chemicals.  ITM Power plc was admitted to the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange in 2004.  The Company received £4.9m as a strategic investment from JCB in March 2015.  The Company signed a forecourt siting agreement with Shell in September 2015.  The Group currently has £10.34m of projects under contract and £0.30m of contracts in the final stages of negotiation.  ITM Power is a founder member of the Social Stock Exchange.

AuthorBen Todd