Opel Vivaro-e Hydrogen van due 2022 with 400km range

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Opel/Vauxhall is adding a hydrogen fuel cell van to its line-up alongside its all-electric van range.

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Based on the Vivaro-e, the hydrogen version will offer benefits including a range of up to 400km (249 miles), a refuelling time of three minutes and a cargo volume up to 6.1m3; the same as the diesel or battery electric versions.

The confirmation of the model comes a month after parent firm Stellantis, created following the merger of PSA and FCA, said that it would begin production of a hydrogen fuel-cell powered van by the end of the year, based on the Peugeot e-Expert/Citroën ë-Dispatch/Vauxhall Vivaro-e.

The Vivaro-e Hydrogen will be available for both left-hand drive markets, under the Opel badge and due from the end of 2021, and in the UK as a right-hand drive Vauxhall from early 2023.

It’s based on the recently launched Vivaro-e but with a 45kW fuel cell system located in the engine bay and integrated with the existing electric motor. Three 700-bar hydrogen tanks are located in the rear, where the battery of the Vivaro-e normally sits; this means there’s no impact on the 5.3m3 to 6.1m3 of cargo space, while the payload increases to 1,100kg. It also features a 10.5kWh lithium-ion battery, located under the front seats.

The Vivaro-e Hydrogen is classed by Opel/Vauxhall as a plug-in fuel cell; the fuel cell system generates power for the motor under motorway conditions while the battery provides dynamic peak power when required – for example, at start-up and under acceleration while also enabling regenerative braking. The battery is also externally chargeable, giving 50km (31 miles) of pure battery electric range.

The Vivaro-e Hydrogen will be available in standard 4.95m and long 5.30m wheelbase variants and will be assembled at Opel/Vauxhall’s Research and Development Centre in Rüsselsheim, Germany.

“Hydrogen could be the central element of an integrated and efficient energy system of the future, free of fossil fuels,” said Opel CEO, Michael Lohscheller. “We have more than 20 years of experience in hydrogen fuel cell vehicle technology. There is hardly another propulsion system in the world that offers the combination of zero emissions, long driving range and only three minutes refuelling time.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news - or gossip.