First Hydrogen vehicle trials with Wales & West Utilities

Automotive and green energy developer, First Hydrogen has begun vehicle trials with gas distribution network, Wales & West Utilities (WWU).

First Hydrogen’s unique hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicle (FCEV) will operate from WWU’s Swansea depot, as part of the business’ fleet of 1,300 vehicles, which are deployed across Wales and the south west of England. The FCEV will support network engineers to make customer call outs and undertake repair and maintenance work. The trial will showcase First Hydrogen’s FCEV advantage over battery electric vehicles in range (630 km/400 mile), payload towing and fast refuelling capabilities.

The FCEV is the first-of-its kind to be deployed in Wales. The ground- breaking trials are supported by green hydrogen producer, Protium Green Solutions and hydrogen services company, Hyppo Hydrogen Solutions, which will help develop a hydrogen ecosystem to support WWU’s operations.

Wales & West Utilities provides gas supply and connections to more than 7.5 million customers in Wales and south west England. The gas distribution network is committed to developing cleaner and greener energy solutions and has recently announced a proposal to develop a major hydrogen pipeline across South Wales. The organisation is also exploring how hydrogen can be used to power homes and businesses across its region.

Until now, First Hydrogen’s FCEV trials have been located near existing hydrogen fuel stations. This trial will demonstrate how partnerships can develop refuelling in areas that lack infrastructure. Using Hyppo Hydrogen Solutions’ refuelling service and green H2 fuel from Protium Green Solutions, enables WWU to refuel close to its depot in Swansea rather than travelling to a public station. Successful refuelling trials with First Hydrogen’s FCEV, Hyppo’s unit and Protium’s renewable hydrogen took place in December 2023.