The first 100 fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) deployed through the €170m Hydrogen Mobility Europe (H2ME) project are now on the road in Germany, France and the UK.

H2ME brings together eight European countries to help make the market ready for hydrogen mobility and is the largest-scale project of its kind.

Its key activities include market testing of hydrogen refuelling infrastructure; deployment of hundreds of fuel cell electric cars and commercial vehicles in real-life operations; demonstration of the system benefits generated by using electrolytic hydrogen solutions in grid operations.

A total of 60 Symbio Renault Kangoo ZE-H2 range-extended fuel cell vans have hit the roads in the UK and France to help support the development of a network of hydrogen refuelling stations in those markets.

Powered by a 5kW fuel cell module, coupled with a hydrogen storage unit and medium-size automotive battery pack, Symbio’s range-extender kit doubles the reach of Renault’s electric-only Kangoo ZE model to 320km (around 200 miles).

Symbio said that in specialised markets where zero emissions and daily operation are critical, Kangoo ZE-H2 customers are now winning business over their competitors.

It added that to perform last-mile delivery in cities that prohibit polluting transport, hydrogen provides unique features compared to pure battery-based utility vehicles.

For example, last September, French delivery firm CETUP’s Symbio-equipped Kangoo ZE-H2 broke a range record by covering 367km with a fully loaded battery and a full hydrogen tank.

In the next few years, the H2ME project will roll-out the next generation of FCEVs, including Symbio’s latest fuel cell range-extender vans and also trucks.

In total, more than 1,400 FCEVs will be deployed throughout the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Scandinavia.

Pierre-Yves Le-Berre, VP, Symbio, said: “Our ambition is to equip all urban delivery centres with our vehicles to guarantee the absence of harmful emissions, as well as address new market trends and regulations.

“For instance, if a delivery centre used a Renault Kangoo equipped with our range extender, driving 200km a day in Paris, it would remove the carbon emissions of 20 private vehicles.”

Ben Madden, Element Energy, overall coordinator of the H2ME scheme, said: “We are proud of the rapid progress our partners have made in deploying this technology, which can accelerate Europe’s move to clean transportation.”