Temperature-controlled rigids manufacturer Solomon Commercials has partnered with Electra Commercial Vehicles to deliver a 19-tonne hydrogen-powered truck which is the first of its kind to go into operation.

The Electra eCargo fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) will be on trial with Sainsbury's as part of the government-funded Road to Hydrogen project.

Ben Smith, Electra Commercial Vehicles MD, said: "We have created this 19-tonne truck with four type-three cylinders providing it with a capacity of 20kg of hydrogen at 350 bar.

"Fitted with a Proton Motors HY45 fuel cell, the vehicle will have an operating timescale of 9-10 hours, after which it can come back to base needing a quick refill of hydrogen so that it can be double shifted. It's an example of genuine innovation that will help operators transition to authentic zero-emission transport."

Anthony Clegg, Solomon Commercials sales director, added: "It's an exciting project to be involved in and will shape the future of road transport, helping many commercial operations make the switch to zero-emissions easier.

"Our business has been built on innovation, and this is a natural step for us to work on UK firsts projects, which help push our industry forward. It's a fantastic example of innovation in UK manufacturing."

Solomon’s technical team designed a flexible body to provide optimum capacity, which would help reduce the number of potential journeys. Using Solomon's aerodynamic Slipstream system, a rear Kamm was incorporated to reduce vehicle drag, helping to improve vehicle range.

Smith added: "The tried-and-tested FCEV combinations we built have demonstrated that an 8-hour operational multi-drop urban shift is easily achievable."

The Carrier Iceland Split Refrigeration System is also powered by hydrogen with an EV Powerbox inverter.

The eCargo FCEV from Electra also uses technology from Element 2 to provide hydrogen refuelling.