In a further sign that hydrogen risks are entering the mainstream, a UK firm is developing a sustainable, hydrogen-powered van that it claims retains a long range and a high payload capacity.
The new light commercial vehicle, named the Indigo, has been developed by Innervated Vehicle Engineering (Ive) using a modular hydrogen fuel cell electric drivetrain.
Ive claims the new vehicle is capable of up to 372 miles of range with a 1500kg payload.
The company suggests the Indigo is a more sustainable proposition for fleet teams and drivers.
Hemp has been used in the construction of its body panels and its non-metallic chassis does not require high-energy processes to develop.
“[The] Indigo uses a clean and modular hydrogen fuel cell propulsion drivetrain, organic and non-metallic structural materials, optimised 3D space utilisation, low energy micro-manufacturing techniques and advanced connectivity to revolutionise the productivity of the vehicle,” Ive said.
Ive claims the Indigo has a 15-year lifecycle and that this is 128% longer than for most diesel vans.
Ive also claimed that the Indigo’s set-up has been optimised for driver safety and manoeuvrability, with a central driving position for improved all-round visibility.
The wellbeing of professional drivers is also a focus; the rear of the van has a low, flat floor with room for an optional rest pod.
A set of cameras replaces wing mirrors, while security is bolstered with all-round keyless entry to stop would-be thieves damaging locks.
The Indigo has gained the support of the Innovate UK scheme, which provides funding to organisations to create new technologies, products and services.
Pre-series trial orders are expected to take place in September 2023, before the first models arrive in early 2024.