Renault Trucks is for the first time ever demonstrating in partnership with La Poste a 4.5-ton Maxity Electric model in Europe equipped with a hydrogen-powered fuel cell range extender, developed by Symbio FCell, that serves to double the vehicle’s average autonomy of approx. 100 kilometers. The field test, scheduled to last a year in Dole (Jura Department), will enable Renault Trucks to explore all potential avenues of hydrogen technology under actual operating conditions.
“This vehicle generates no noise impacts and only releases water vapor; 200 kilometers of autonomy make it the ideal choice for a daily schedule of urban and suburban routes,” said Karine Forien, Director of Energy Efficiency Strategy with Renault Trucks. “Our purpose behind this project is to support European metropolitan areas in their goal of limiting air and noise pollution emissions, through testing innovative vehicles that produce zero emissions and that in the near term should become economically viable for our customers.”
For La Poste, which owns the world’s largest fleet of electric vehicles, this experiment is part of a continuous effort underway to extend its fleet’s autonomy. For nearly a year, in the Franche-Comté Region, it has been testing vehicles running on hydrogen. “Hydrogen stands out today as an efficient solution for extending the possibilities of the electric vehicle product line and its autonomy,” explained Frédéric Delaval, Technical Director of the Mail and Package Delivery Services Office at La Poste.
Maxity Electric’s autonomy of approx. 100 kilometers has been bumped up another 100 kilometers thanks to energy supplied by the fuel cell. “When the vehicle is running, the electric motor is fed by two complementary energy sources; the fuel cell is capable of delivering a maximum power of 20 kW and, once that threshold has been reached, the batteries kick in to supply whatever power is still required. When idle, the fuel cell is available to recharge the battery as needed”, added Christophe Vacquier, supervising the project.
Source: Renault Trucks