Arval to add 10 new company cars to hydrogen trial with opening of refuelling station
Arval is aiming to add 10 new company cars to a cutting-edge
hydrogen trial with the opening of a second refuelling station near to its head
The fleet management and leasing specialist is taking part
in a project called the Hydrogen Hub, which aims to show the viability of fuel
cell technology across a range of domestic, commercial and transport
applications in the Swindon area.
With the trial now a little over a year old, Arval has been
leading the car stream, with six company cars from Hyundai and Toyota in
operation for The Science Museum, Nationwide Building Society, Johnson Matthey
and Arval itself.
The new hydrogen station has been opened at the offices of
Johnson Matthey, an international company which manufactures fuel cell
components, and joins the original Swindon site at the nearby Honda car
Paul Marchment, SME development manager at Arval, who is
overseeing the trial, said: “It is difficult to overstate the importance of
having a second refuelling facility locally. For fleets, it simply makes taking
on vehicles more viable.
“The reasons for this are simple. Firstly, if one hydrogen
station is unavailable, there is another to use, so the cars can continue to
operate. Secondly, it increases convenience and the sense that the hydrogen fuelling
network is growing.”
Mr Marchment said that the additional 10 cars Arval was
aiming to place would be both with businesses already operating hydrogen cars
and those looking to take their first.
He said: “To some extent, we are limited by the availability
of vehicles. Opening a new station is a strong signal to the manufacturers
involved that Arval, and fleets based in Swindon, are serious about hydrogen as
a fuel of the future, which should help us attract better supply.
“There are a number of new models coming to the market in
the next year, including perhaps a van for the first time, so it really feels
as though the whole subject of hydrogen vehicles is gaining momentum at the
Arval is chair of the
Hydrogen Hub’s Car Working Group and is central to a range of projects designed
to look at the practicalities of operating hydrogen vehicles; information which
it can then pass onto its customers.