The European Union is set to reduce truck carbon emissions by a third by 2030 from 2019 levels. This target has caused several vehicle manufacturers to put more effort into research and development. Several investments have come from the government and private individuals to boost the hydrogen distribution network. Vehicle manufacturers are also producing to this effect. This time, Peugeot is one company at the forefront. Peugeot has produced the PEUGEOT e-EXPERT Hydrogen, which is one of the first electric vans to be powered by hydrogen fuel cells.
Peugeot describes the new van as safe, powerful, and easy to handle. The engine is fully electric, with a 100-kW (136 hp) electric engine. The driving experience will be silent, smooth, and dynamic.
It can fill up with hydrogen within 3 minutes by its WLTP homologation cycle, for more than 400km of autonomy. A driving experience with no noise pollution, no gear shifts, no odor, and no Carbon emissions. It was tested by European Journalists during the first trials in Russelsheim, Germany. The previous electric models were combustion and battery-electric based. Producing a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle expresses Peugeot’s rapid evolution.
This advancement aims to achieve Zero-carbon emission and to be the leader in hydrogen mobility. Peugeot e-EXPERT van will move long distances, offering fast recharging without the need for an electric charging point. It will run on a hydrogen fuel cell, emitting no carbon but steam through its exhaust pipe.
How does Hydrogen Fuel Cell Work?
Peugeot e-EXPERT van is powered by two energy sources. The first is the Hydrogen fuel cell electric, an innovation by STELLANTIS. The battery can be charged from the mains with a hydrogen fuel cell located on the vehicle floor. Peugeot will partner with Symbio to supply hydrogen fuel cells. Several superimposed current-generating cells form the hydrogen battery.
A chemical reaction occurs between hydrogen in the tanks and oxygen in the ambient air. The tank consists of 3 canisters each with a 4.4kg hydrogen capacity, under 700bar of pressure. The reaction occurs in several cells, powering the electric engine.
The hydrogen fuel cell is supported by a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery. It is located beneath the seats with a capacity of 10.5kW and a power output of 90kW. This battery can be charged on board with a three-phase 11kW charger.
Hydrogen-powered trucks are unique as they produce their electricity on board. This technology will fit lorries and heavy-duty vehicles that drive long distances and do not have reliable access to electric charging.
Progress by Other Vehicle Manufacturers
The British start-up Tevva recently launches a 7.5-tonne battery-electric truck. Using hydrogen as backup, its normal range can be doubled or tripled to around 500 km.
Also, Volvo Trucks unveiled its new hydrogen trucks with a range comparable to diesel trucks. They have produced battery-electric trucks previously, and this is their way of testing hydrogen fuel cells in vehicles.
The Head of product management and sustainability at Volvo trucks, Jessica Sandstorms, said, ‘For us, this is one additional piece of the puzzle to be able to have a good menu of different options for our customers so they can make this transition.’
She also emphasized the need to improve hydrogen refueling infrastructure. Green hydrogen should be available from renewable sources in preparation for more hydrogen-powered vehicles.
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