FedEx Express tests hydrogen-powered technology with HYVIA van pilot in Utrecht

H2 van in transit_snow_driver

5 February 2024, Amsterdam, NL - FedEx Express Europe, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX), has begun a trial of a hydrogen-powered vehicle in its pickup and delivery operations in Utrecht, Netherlands. This is the first time FedEx Express has tested hydrogen-technologies in Europe with a view to gaining early insights into new solutions that are tipped as helping hard-to-abate sectors decarbonize, with the potential for application in a transportation network.

The Renault Master Van H2-TECH is manufactured by HYVIA as a joint venture between Renault Group and Plug. It can be refueled in under 5 minutes with 6kg of hydrogen gas, which is used to generate electricity through a 30kW fuel cell, providing power to the eMotor. An on-board 33kWh lithium-ion battery is recharged by the fuel cell during use, enabling pure electric range capacity if required.

FedEx Express is piloting the van in daily operations for two weeks where it will perform parcel pickups and deliveries in the Utrecht area. With a size and specification comparable to the current fleet, the hydrogen-powered van has a range of 400km – well suited to the range requirements for a typical daily route. The vehicle will refuel nearby at Greenpoint - an existing 700 bars hydrogen refueling station approximately 15km from the FedEx facility.

Marius Penninks, VP Ground Operations Benelux, FedEx Express Europe said: “It’s important to stay curious about solutions that can reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. This trial offers us first-hand experience using a vehicle of this type, an opportunity to hear from our drivers about the driving experience, and a chance to uncover any benefits or limitations of the technology, in the context of a real-world logistics environment.”

The production and availability of green energy is a critical component in the sustainable scaling of both battery electric and hydrogen solutions for transport. It is anticipated that both technologies will play important roles in transitioning different sectors and different types of vehicles to lower or zero emissions in time.

As part of an ambition to achieve carbon-neutral operations by 2040, FedEx Express has begun electrifying its parcel pickup and delivery fleet in Europe and elsewhere, gradually replacing retiring diesel vehicles with battery-electric technology. Linehaul trucking, however, is one area where it’s less possible to make an immediate dent in emissions with the technologies and infrastructure available today. The emergence of hydrogen production facilities in countries like the Netherlands means associated infrastructure could bring co-benefits to the transportation sector.

Julien Etienne, Chief Commercial Officer, of Hyvia, said: “HYVIA is inventing a new hydrogen mobility offer, pioneering and reassuring mobility that brings value to professional customers engaged in the energy transition. We are proud to support FedEx Express Europe with this first hydrogen-powered vehicle pilot in the Netherlands.”