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Electra appoints Solomon to partner on UK’s first zero-emission refrigerated fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV)


Solomon Commercials has partnered with Electra Commercial Vehicles to deliver the first of its kind 19-tonne hydrogen-powered truck to go into operation.

The Electra eCargo FCEV will be on trial with Sainsbury’s as part of the Road to Hydrogen – a UK Government-funded project focused on helping the UK solve challenges around zero-emission road freight, linked to the Teesside Multi-Modal Transport Hydrogen Hub.

Ben Smith, MD of Electra Commercial Vehicles, said:

“We have created this 19-tonne truck with four type-three cylinders providing it with a capacity of 20 kg of hydrogen at 350 bar.

Fitted with a Proton Motors HY45 fuel cell, the vehicle will have an operating timescale of 9-10 hours, after which it can come back to base needing a quick refill of hydrogen so that it can be double shifted. It’s an example of genuine innovation that will help operators transition to authentic zero-emission transport.”

Anthony Clegg, Sales Director of Solomon Commercials, added:

“It’s an exciting project to be involved in and will shape the future of road transport, helping many commercial operations make the switch to zero-emissions easier.

Our business has been built on innovation, and this is a natural step for us to work on UK firsts projects, which help push our industry forward. It’s a fantastic example of innovation in UK manufacturing.”

Solomon Commercials has a long and established relationship with Sainsbury, and with its award-winning rigid refrigeration bodies, it was the perfect choice as body provider. Solomon’s technical team designed a flexible body to provide optimum capacity, which would help reduce the number of potential journeys. Using Solomon’s industry-leading aerodynamic Slipstream system, a rear Kamm was incorporated to reduce vehicle drag, helping to improve vehicle range.

Smith added:

“The tried-and-tested FCEV combinations we built have demonstrated that an 8-hour operational multi-drop urban shift is easily achievable.”

The Carrier Iceland Split Refrigeration System is also powered by hydrogen with an EV Powerbox inverter. The eCargo FCEV  from Electra also uses technology from Element 2 to provide hydrogen refuelling.

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