07.05.2024, Author: Stefan Feulner

Share news: First Hydrogen - Big Logistics Players Enter the Scene — New tests started

  • Hydrogen
  • climate change
  • logistics
  • Fuel Cells

Logistics companies around the world are in a tight spot. On the one hand, they have to meet the climate targets set by governments, while on the other, e-commerce continues to drive growth in the delivery market. Stellar Market Research has calculated that this sector will likely grow from USD 486.47 billion in 2023 to USD 648.84 billion by the end of the decade. The consequences are clearly defined. The industry needs more delivery vehicles on the roads, which will drive emissions even higher. Hydrogen innovator First Hydrogen offers the solution with its hydrogen fuel cell-powered light commercial vehicles. After successfully completing the first test runs with renowned fleet operators in the UK, multinational logistics companies are now throwing their hats into the ring.

Time to read: 4 minutes

Global logistics player initiates testing

Multinational logistics companies like DHL, Amazon, UPS, Hermes and FedEx are all facing the same challenges. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, online shopping has exploded, and the number of parcels to be delivered has increased exponentially. Global Market Insights estimates that the market for parcel delivery vehicles will reach a volume of over USD 210 billion by 2032.

In addition, retailers are advertising same-day delivery times in order to gain an advantage over the tough competition. Leaving aside the decarbonization goals, it is logical that logistics companies are investing in the expansion of fleets to transport items from local hubs directly to the consumer or end user. So far, so good. However, from an environmental point of view, emissions have also increased, which is an absolute no-go due to the regulations of individual country governments to achieve climate targets.

The only way for the major parcel delivery companies to meet both their commercial and climate-friendly targets is to convert their fleets to zero-emission technologies such as battery or hydrogen fuel cells. After achieving outstanding test results under real road conditions with three major fleet operators, the hydrogen company, which is based in Vancouver, Montreal and London, has now launched a test phase in London over a period of four weeks, including driver training, with a major multinational logistics company whose partners use commercial vans for parcel delivery. In the new trials, the hydrogen fuel cell powered commercial vehicle will be tested for 8 hours per day with multiple deliveries per hour.

In addition to further test drives with a multinational logistics company, the development of light commercial vehicles for the North American market is also planned. Source: First Hydrogen Corp.

Higher efficiency and record range

The results achieved so far in the three test series with Rivus, SSE PLC, and the Wales & West Utilities gas supply network have exceeded the Company's own expectations and clearly demonstrated the advantages over battery-powered delivery vans. The test vehicle achieved record ranges of 630 km on a single fill-up. In comparison, similar battery-powered vans only manage 240 km. Further top values were also achieved in the extremely low average consumption of 1.58 kg of hydrogen per 100 km, even at consistently high speeds. In the latest test run with W&W, First Hydrogen's FCEV covered over 2,000 km in the four weeks, covering up to 189 km per day in the coldest conditions in South Wales. It also used a reusable refueling system and supplied green hydrogen in partnership with Protium Energy Solutions and Hyppo Hydrogen Solutions, demonstrating that hydrogen mobility is possible for fleet operators anytime, anywhere.

Strong interest from North America

First Hydrogen's success with the tests under real road conditions in the United Kingdom also spurred interest in North America. In particular, the fact that hydrogen vehicles can be used as an alternative to battery-powered electric vehicles in cold weather prompted CEO Balraj Mann to push ahead with expansion into Canada. The Company is developing additional demo FCEVs to showcase the potential of hydrogen to North American fleets. Plans are also well-advanced to build a vehicle assembly plant and a production facility for green hydrogen in Shawinigan, Quebec. From there, around 25,000 vehicles are to be produced annually for the North American market.

Stabilization after correction

Contrary to the positive business development, First Hydrogen's share price corrected significantly due to the weak overall market in the hydrogen sector. Since its highs in August 2022, the shares of the hydrogen innovator, which is capitalized at CAD 48.93 million, have lost around 80% to CAD 0.99. Since March of the current year, the chart has formed a stable floor in the CAD 1.00 range. The downward trend established since January 2023 is currently at CAD 1.06. Overcoming this would trigger a striking buy signal with the next price targets at CAD 1.45.

The indicators point to an imminent upward movement. For example, the trend follower MACD no longer confirmed the lows reached since May 2023 and has already formed a double positive divergence. The relative strength indicator has been showing a positive trend reversal since April of this year.

The First Hydrogen share has bottomed out in recent weeks after a strong sell-off. Source: Refinitiv Eikon, as of 06.05.2024

Interim conclusion

The first three test series in the UK ended with record results for First Hydrogen. Ranges of over 630 km were achieved, and further advantages in terms of energy efficiency, versatility and scalability compared to combustion engines and battery-powered light commercial vehicles were demonstrated.

The new test series in collaboration with a multinational logistics company represents another milestone in the Company's still young history. If further positive results follow here too, the commercialization of the vehicles should progress more quickly. In addition, expansion into North America has enormous potential.

The update is based on the initial report 07/2022

Conflict of interest

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