After years of silence regarding Opel’s fuel cell activities, the German automobile manufacturer came back in mid-May 2021 with an H2 van Vivaro-e Hydrogen – and with it the French sister companies Peugeot and Citroën, both of which also belong to the parent company Stellantis. The major corporation designed its own “mid-power plug-in hydrogen fuel cell electric system” for the three brands, consisting of a 100-kW drive combined with a 45-kW fuel cell from the French manufacturer Symbio and a high-voltage power storage unit.
The three manufacturers plan to supply the first fleet customers this autumn, as soon as the basic electric vehicles have been converted at the Stellantis Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Competence Centre in Rüsselsheim. This conversion is carried out without any changes to the bodywork, so that the entire load volume is retained.
The compact van, which is available in two lengths, has three 700-bar pressurised gas tanks (in total 4.4 kgH2) and rechargeable batteries (10.5 kWh), ensuring a WLTP range of 400 km. The lithium-ion batteries, which come with an eight-year warranty, also function as a range extender should the H2 tank be empty.
On 27 May 2021, Peugeot showed the e-Expert Hydrogen, which will initially be offered to professional customers in France and Germany from the end of 2021. The French carmaker advertises that its e-Expert Hydrogen, which is based on Peugeot’s Efficient Modular Platform (EMP2), retains “the proven properties of the combustion engine”.
Citroën presented its ë-Jumpy Hydrogen, a fuel cell-powered van that uses the same technology as its counterparts, on 3 June. They chose the battery-electric ë-Jumpy, which was presented last year and is produced at the SevelNord site (former joint venture of Peugeot and Fiat) near Valenciennes, as the base model.
Opel boss Michael Lohscheller explained: “Hydrogen is a forward-looking solution for an efficient energy system free of fossil fuels.”