Aberdeen City Council, DLR and EAV to develop and deploy hydrogen fuel cell cargo pedelec delivery vehicles

Source: press release, 21 May 2021

EAV will use their well-established 2Cubed vehicle platform with its patented ‘Cloudframe’ chassis
EAV will use their well-established 2Cubed vehicle platform with its patented ‘Cloudframe’ chassis (illustration: EVA)

Electric Assisted Vehicles Limited (EAV), the Oxfordshire-based micro-mobility manufacturer, has been chosen for a unique engineering and operations project, working with the City of Aberdeen in Scotland. Supported by investment from the European Union and the Scottish Government and managed by the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the project brings together a range of impressive partners including DPD Group, H2Range (an affiliate of DLR), Unicorn Energy, Energy Expo and Brussels University. The programme aims to validate the use of hydrogen fuel cells for sustainable last mile deliveries and clean, healthy and liveable cities.

“The use of hydrogen fuel cells in the last or even mid-mile scenario is a very interesting proposition,” comments Adam Barmby, CEO and Founder of EAV. “Within EAV we observe the development of the rapidly growing Electric Vehicle market daily. Apart from our concerns over the weight of the increasing number of battery powered vehicles, we keep questioning where all these batteries are going to come from? It’s a known fact that the raw materials for battery production are in short supply, which is why EAV focuses on weight reduction, so we use less energy and therefore require less batteries. To take this process even further, we’ve wanted to develop a hydrogen fuel cell option which requires a vehicle to have even less batteries as the electricity comes from the hydrogen reaction which is about as environmentally-friendly as you can get.”

The Interreg NWE’s Fuel Cell Cargo Pedelecs Project – or FCCP as it’s known, aims to validate the use of hydrogen fuel cell last mile delivery vehicles in seven cities across Europe over 12 months from Q3 2021. Aberdeen, Stuttgart, Luxembourg and Munich are four of the seven cities in which 36 vehicles will be deployed as part of the validation process.

“We’re really excited to be working with the City of Aberdeen as a key part of this validation exercise,” says Leo Bethell, Head of Partnerships at EAV. “Every town and city across the globe must now look at significantly reducing emissions and providing a cleaner, safer environment for its inhabitants. The COVID pandemic has actually advanced a number of projects to reduce vehicle traffic and reinforce the need for cleaner and safer cities and smaller, lighter urban commercial goods delivery vehicles are vital to that change. This is a technically advanced project and it’s coming to a city which has been at the forefront of advanced engineering in Scotland for the last hundred or so years. We’re pleased to be at the cutting edge of hydrogen fuel cell urban vehicle deployment in the UK.”

EAV will use their well-established 2Cubed vehicle platform with its patented “Cloudframe” chassis, which is now on its third year of development, to run the fuel cell system. The 2Cubed has already been successfully tested and is now operated by many household-name delivery businesses across Europe. With the addition of the hydrogen fuel cell technology, it’s hoped to further validate an already highly efficient urban lightweight vehicle with an option for hydrogen fuel opening-up many other possibilities for EAV.

“We’re obsessed with weight at EAV because that’s where energy is used and also wasted.” continues Adam Barmby. “If we’re powered by hydrogen, we can look at the use of these vehicles and seriously consider them completely replacing vans in all towns and cities worldwide. Rapid refuelling and deployment, capable of increased loads with better operating efficiency than any current EV or combustion engine van at a significantly lower cost with no tailpipe emissions or tyre or brake particulate pollution. Lightweight means less damage to city roads and pavements meaning savings for City Councils and an altogether safer and more pleasant place to live and work. EAV have a complete Transport Futures programme to revolutionise the urban environment and the hydrogen-powered ‘H2EAV’ is the next step towards a simply better future.”