ARVAL is extending its hydrogen policy with a further 10 hydrogen cars being added to its fleet.
The latest batch of hydrogen cars join the six from Hyundai and Toyota in operation for The Science Museum, Nationwide Building Society, Johnson Matthey and Arval itself.
The extended fleet comes as a second refuelling station has been opened near the fleet and leasing specialist’s Swindon HQ.
The new hydrogen station has been opened at the offices of Johnson Matthey, an international company which manufactures fuel cell components, and joins the original Swindon site at the nearby Honda car production plant.
Paul Marchment, SME Development Manager at Arval, who is overseeing the trial, said: “It is difficult to overstate the importance of having a second refuelling facility locally. For fleets, it simply makes taking on vehicles more viable.
“The reasons for this are simple. Firstly, if one hydrogen station is unavailable, there is another to use, so the cars can continue to operate. Secondly, it increases convenience and the sense that the hydrogen fuelling network is growing.”
The additional 10 hydrogen cars Arval is aiming to place with businesses already operating hydrogen cars and those looking to take their first.
“To some extent, we are limited by the availability of vehicles. Opening a new station is a strong signal to the manufacturers involved that Arval, and fleets based in Swindon, are serious about hydrogen as a fuel of the future, which should help us attract better supply.
“There are a number of new models coming to the market in the next year, including perhaps a van for the first time, so it really feels as though the whole subject of hydrogen vehicles is gaining momentum at the moment.”
Arval is chair of the Hydrogen Hub’s Car Working Group and is central to a range of projects designed to look at the practicalities of operating hydrogen vehicles; information which it can then pass onto its customers.
UCL takes delivery of Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell car
Separately, University College London (UCL) will be assessing a Toyota Mirai to further its research into advanced powertrain technologies, and to serve as practical, zero emission transport for staff.
The Toyota has been acquired with support from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), Hydrogen Mobility Europe (H2 ME) and the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCHJU).