© Electra
© Electra

Electra announces success from hydrogen-powered vehicle trial with UK supermarket

Electra Commercial Vehicles has today (January 16) announced a successful completion of a three-month hydrogen-powered refrigerated 19-tonne truck trial with UK supermarket Sainsbury’s.

Having supplied its eCargo Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) to the supermarket chain, H2 View understands the vehicle undertook a typical daily journey of 208 miles from Sainsbury’s depot in Sherburn-in-Elmet to Newcastle and back.

With refuelling for the vehicle provided by Element 2, data collected from the trial has showed that the vehicle used around 65% of its hydrogen capacity per trip, which Electra says gives it an approximate daily operational range of 320 miles on one fill of hydrogen.

The trial came after Element 2 and Electra signed an agreement for the supply of hydrogen gas and associated refuelling infrastructure in May 2022.

Read more: Element 2 signs agreement to boost UK hydrogen refuelling

Sainsbury’s has reported that the hydrogen-powered vehicle received positive feedback from its drivers participating in the trial, noting its quietness and ease of mind on the issue of range anxiety.

On the same route, Sainbury’s conventional diesel-powered trucks would emit 314kg of carbon dioxide on average, opposed to the zero-emissions emitted by the Electra-manufactured truck.

“We are committed to reducing the carbon footprint of our fleet and this trial has played a pivotal role in the development of our strategy,” said Gary King, Head of Engineering and Compliance at Sainsbury’s. “Achieving zero carbon emissions for a regular haulage route is a significant initial step and will inform future decision making.”

Sid Sadique, founder and Chairman of Electra Commercial Vehicles, commented, “I am thrilled with the truck’s performance during its tour in the Tees Valley area. Seeing something that was just a vision for the future on paper over a year ago now becoming a reality is fantastic.”

“We will now bring fully operational hydrogen trucks onto our roads in 2023, as well as further building on the success of our electric ranges,” Sadique added.

In 2021 Electra signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Proton Motor to integrate Proton’s fuel cell systems into its existing electric truck portfolio.

Read more: Proton Motor, Electra to expand fuel cell truck market in the UK

“Electra’s truck has demonstrated how hydrogen can provide a viable alternative to diesel for fleet owners and operators – and in particular for heavy goods haulage due to its superior range capabilities,” said Tim Harper, CEO of Element 2.

Harper continued, “We were thrilled to supply the hydrogen and refuelling infrastructure needed for the trial and will continue to work hand-in-glove with Electra to help customers reach their carbon emission reduction targets quickly.”


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