H2X, an Australian hydrogen technology startup with a strong focus on Europe, has released the rollout details of its hydrogen powered Warrego Ute.
Something of a “demonstration” vehicle, the first release Warrego features a 60 kW fuel cell, a 260 kW electric engine and a range of more than 450 kilometres. The company says the model will be available to customers over the coming nine months “in line with availability of hydrogen.”
The ute is now undergoing final validation and verification testing procedures in the Netherlands, one of H2X’s first markets to take off, ahead of European and global certification. The company says Australian certification testing, including right hand drive models, will commence soon.
“It is true that we have had some frustrating delays over the past nine months, however, we are now well on track with our roll out plans,” H2X Global CEO and founder, Brendan Norman, said. The delays, Norman added, came down to supply chain issues which have affected manufacturing worldwide.
Based on the Ford Ranger, the company’s press officer Tony Blackie previously told pv magazine Australia the startup was seeking to establish the viability of hydrogen in light vehicles through the Warrego model – something oft considered dubious.
Be that as it may, H2X said it clocked $50 million in order requests within four days of the Warrego Ute announcement last September. How much that figure grew over the last year isn’t known.
In terms of the nitty-gritty of the car, the Warrego’s fuel cell connects to a hybrid battery/supercapacitor electric drive system, with H2X’s launch video listing 416V, 8kW, 90K amps supercapacitor pack.
“This is connected to a 700-bar type 4 hydrogen tank system constructed of an advanced polymer and carbon fibre base,” the company outlined, noting the design delivers safety “with very long standards of operation.”
“While this will allow the car to work at the lower 350 bar compression it has the capability to run at much higher compression rates which will double the range per tank.”
The ute will be produced in both Europe and at H2X’s facility in Victoria.
“The Warrego is essentially a demonstration vehicle which we are able to offer to several customers in order to accelerate the availability of an AWD light commercial vehicles to customers,” Norman said.
“This application will be applied in a more optimised form in the Darling Delivery Van and Taxi/MPV targeted for release by the end of 2024 to support the large number of cities in Europe which will be closed off from diesel and petrol vehicles from 2025.”
Europe is really where the company is focussing its attention in terms of vehicles. Norman said this was for a number of reasons, though mainly because hydrogen is available at customer level in several cities where order status has been high and governments are keen to develop their hydrogen economy.
Australia has just a handful of hydrogen refuelling stations operating today, though there are more in the works. The limited supply, however, would put something of a dampener on the Warrego’s market, if it sticks to its timelines.
In the longer term, H2X is eyeing Australia’s agricultural sector. Earlier this month, it launched the first of its hydrogen-powered generators to the Australian market – built to replace traditional fossil-fuel fired gensets and provide green electricity for emergency supply and off-grid operations.
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