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Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has released the first picture of its new generation of Transporter van.

“We are transferring the DNA of our icon into modern times with the completely new Transporter,” said Albert Kirzinger, chief designer at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

“The details of the seventh Bulli generation pick up the characteristic design features of its six predecessors and give them a new interpretation. This has a tradition – every new Volkswagen Transporter has always represented a new visual beginning, a stylistic bridge between a long history, the present and the future. This is precisely what has kept this product line updated for over eight decades, making it the most successful van series in its class in the world,” Kirzinger added.

Sales of the new VW Transporter have already begun in Europe where prices start from €36,780.

The full vehicle will be revealed at the Hannover IAA trade show in September, ahead of vehicles hitting the road in the first part of 2025.

The latest Volkswagen Transporter is also based on the Ford Transit Custom and will eventually have a fully electric version that will share the Ford E-Transit Custom driveline.

Bulli DNA: “One second is all it takes to immediately recognise the Transporter – which has been redesigned from the first to last millimetre – as the successor to the T6.1 and as a member of the Bulli family,” says Albert Kirzinger. The Chief Designer continues: “The design consistently follows the iconic Bulli DNA. This is already evident in the main body, which has the characteristic contour for the product line below the side windows – we call it the Bulli line. This unique DNA can be found in all areas of the exterior design and also makes the new Transporter the original in its class.” The design of the new Transporter in detail:

Front: The T5 can be seen briefly in the shape of the radiator grille, the T6.1 in the headlights and the T1 in the iconic clarity – but all these features have evolved significantly into a new Volkswagen Transporter appearance. At the same time, the design is also embedded in the current Bulli family’s range. The Chief Designer adds: “The front design of our seventh Transporter immediately makes it clear that it is a member of the Bulli family and complements the Multivan and ID. Buzz duo.”

Silhouette: The side view of the Transporter, which is between 5,050 mm and 5,450 mm long, shows the design clarity typical of a Bulli. “As with the T6.1, we have extended the upper contour of the headlights as a line into the sides. This continues all the way to the rear and creates a pronounced linear curvature above it – the Bulli line. This line separates the upper and lower areas of the body and is a tribute to the T1,” says Kirzinger. The range of 16-, 17- and 19-inch Transporter wheel rims has also been redesigned. Particularly striking is the 19-inch Indianapolis alloy wheel with its diamond-cut rim flange as well as six black spokes and inner surfaces. Optimally accessible once again is the fuel filler flap integrated in the area of the B-pillar of the diesel and plug-in hybrid versions, as on the T6.1 and large Crafter. The charging socket flap of the models with plug-in hybrid and all-electric drive is located under the right-hand headlight.

Rear: The rear end of the seventh Volkswagen Transporter has a homogeneous design and thus has the clear and characteristic features of a Bulli. The commercial vehicle will once again be available with a tailgate and rear wing doors. Although completely redesigned and technically revamped, the striking shape of the tail lights with LED dots towards the sides creates a stylistic bridge to the T5. “With a horizontal line below the rear window and a black handle strip above the number plate, we form a smooth horizontal strip between the C-shaped tail light clusters, which we also use here to emphasise the iconic clarity of the new Transporter,” says Albert Kirzinger. He continues: “As always with a Volkswagen commercial vehicle, there is no line that is not logical. The described horizontal lines below the rear window and above the handle strip are a good example of this, framing the Volkswagen logo and extending into the tail lights with millimetre precision.” Form thus again always follows function on the seventh Transporter. The tailgate or wing doors are another example: their recess extends far into the bumper, resulting in a low load sill height of only 575 mm to 638 mm (depending on version).

April Fools day sure does toll around quickly. Oh, wait, it's May, and Nissan has revealed a karaoke version of its Townstar electric van... because, well, why not!

The electric Nissan Townstar Karaok-e is a one-off karaoke lounge experience model powered entirely from the Townstar Electric's 45kWh battery.

The custom-built mobile music studio demonstrates the versatility of the Townstar EV platform with a fully functional, built-in karaoke system with room for two people.

Nissan says singing and music are scientifically proven to reduce stress, boost dopamine levels and produce endorphins, which is why it says its Karaok-e is perfect for "fun-filled joyous journey".

The Townstar Karaok-e’s load area has been transformed into a cutting-edge karaoke lounge with an interior revamped to provide maximum passenger comfort and limousine-like legroom. It gets a state-of-the-art sound system and subwoofer along with a 32-inch high-definition display screen to let you read the words for your favourite pop song or ballad.

Passengers can also record their performances on GoPro cameras, and then seamlessly personalise and share their intros, outros and fantastic failed falsettos on popular social platforms using built-in touchscreens.

The LED cabinet and interior roof lights are also synchronised to the beat and on the outside there's even an ‘On Air’ for when a session is in progress.

If you're eager to dance along to a dealer to buy one you'll be dissapointed as the Townstar Karaok-e is not available to purchase. Instead you'll have to opt for a regular Townstar EV which is available in the UK as a Crew Van, with five seats.

Alternatively the panel van is available to order as L1 and L2 variants with prices starting from £33,945 ex VAT.

Watch the Townstar Karaok-e van in action with the funky video Nissan has put together to show off the new Townstar Electric crew van.

Demand for vans has risen by 5.4% in April according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

A total of 23,889 new vans, 4x4s and pickups were registered, in the month - the highest total since 2021.

Large vans weighing more than 2.5 tonnes to 3.5 tonnes were the most popular with 15,714 new van registrations, up 3.3% on the same month last year. They made up almost two thirds (65.8%) of registrations, while medium-sized vans were the second most purchased. Medium vans grew by 6.8% to 4,611 units.

The biggest percentage increase was resevered for small vans, which were up 41.1% however they still have just a 2.5% share of the market.

Pick-up truck sales rose, by 16.2% to 2,487 units. Deliveries of new commercial 4x4s fell by 17.6% to 473 units.

Electric van sales continued to stall last month, with new battery electric van sales falling to 861 units. That's a drop of 42.4% compared with last year.

As a whole electric vans made up just 3.6% of all new LCV registrations compared with 6.6% in April last year.

Experts predict the new van market to grow by 3.3% to 353,000 units this year. However, the demand for electric vans has been revised downwards from 9.4% to 8.3%.

BEV volumes are still expected to rise by 44.1% in 2024 to 29,000 units.

Speaking about the registrations for new vans, Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, "Britain’s new van market continues to grow with the very latest, more fuel efficient models driving down CO2. Manufacturers are investing billions to bring electric vehicles to market, however, uptake is slowing and urgent action is needed. If government is serious about delivery of its ambitious targets, it must deploy an equally bold strategy for delivering van-suitable public chargepoints across the UK."

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has launched a range of attractive monthly contract hire offers to entice British businesses into a new Volkswagen van.

Buyers looking for everything from the Volkswagen Caddy Cargo van through to the largest Volkswagen Crafter can benefit from a range of finance offers. New competitive contract hire prices for the entire Volkswagen Commerical Vehicles range are available, including the Volkswagen Amarok, but it's the headline grabbing deal for the ID Buzz that will turn many heads.

The Volkswagen ID Buzz Cargo SWB Commerce is available from £379 per month on a three-year Business Contract Hire deal.

On Personal Contract Purchase, the ID. Buzz Life Pro 77kWh has a 4.9% APR with £5,500 deposit contribution from Volkswagen Financial Services, as well as one year’s free insurance, three free services and an MOT included.

Other offers include the Amarok Style 205PS pick-up truck which is available from £459 per month on a four-year business contract hire agreement. The Amarok also comes with Volkswagen’s 5+ Promise, which includes five Services and three MOTs, five years’ warranty and five years’ roadside assistance.

A full breakdown of the deals on offer can be found here:

ModelDerivativeBusiness Contract Hire Monthly Rentals (exc. VAT at 20%)Customer initial rentalServicing  
Caddy Cargo CommerceCaddy Cargo Commerce 2.0TDI 102 PS 6-speed manual£349
£2,094
2 services for £199 (exc. VAT at 20%).
TransporterTransporter 6.1 T28 panel van Startline SWB 2.0TDI 110PS 5-speed manual£399
£2,394
2 services for £199 (exc. VAT at 20%).
Transporter 6.1 T30 kombi Startline SWB 110PS 2.0 TDI 5-Speed Manual£440
£2,640
2 services for £199 (exc. VAT at 20%).
CrafterCrafter high roof panel van Commerce Plus CR35 MWB 2.0TDI 140PS FWD 6-speed manual£549
£3,294
2 services for £199 (exc. VAT at 20%).
ID. Buzz PeopleID. Buzz Life 77kWh Pro£395£2,3703 services and an MOT included
ID. Buzz CargoID. Buzz Cargo SWB Commerce£379£2,2743 services and an MOT included
MultivanMultivan Life Standard 2.0 TDI 150PS 7-Speed DSG£499£2,9942 services for £199 (exc. VAT at 20%).
AmarokAmarok Style 205PS£459£5,508-

According to Volkswagen, new deals currently on offer include £4500 desposit contribution on the price of a new Crafter, and £2000 on an Amarok.

ModelDerivativeRetail finance (inc. VAT)Servicing
Caddy Cargo CommerceAll models£1,500 deposit contribution
6.9% APR Representative^^
2 services for £199 (exc. VAT at 20%).5
ID. Buzz CargoAll models£2,000 deposit contribution
4.9% APR Representative^^
3 services and 1 MOT as standard3
TransporterAll modelsAll models: 6.9% APR Representative¥2 services for £199 (exc. VAT at 20%).5
MultivanAll models£1,000 deposit contribution on Life or £1,500 on Style models
6.9% APR Representative^^
2 services for £199 (exc. VAT at 20%).5
CrafterAll models£4,500 deposit contribution
6.9% APR Representative^^
2 services for £199 (exc. VAT at 20%).5
AmarokAll models£2,000 deposit contribution on 2.0 litre variants only
6.9% APR Representative^^
5+ Promise4

B–On, makers of the B-On Pelkan electric van, has announced a new partnership with Chinese manufacturer Chery Group.

B-On and Chery wil for a strategic partnership, including the formation of a joint venture company in order to launch of the new Pelkan electric van in the light commercial vehicle sector.

The focus of the joint venture will be to develop, produce, and sell all-electric commercial vehicles.

The agreement will see B–On contribute its network for sales, aftersales, and branding in Europe and North America with the engineering design and product development of the Pelkan vans.

Chery Commercial Vehicle will provide manufacturing base as well as engineering and supply chain support.

The B-On Pelkan electric van is available with two battery sizes, giving rise to the Pelkan 43 and Pelkan 54 variants. It gets a claimed payload of up to 1350kg, and two batteries of 43kWh and 54 kWh.

The Pelkan will have a range of up to 279km for the bigger battery and 226km for the smaller unit.

Deliveries in mainland Europe will begin in mid 2024.  

“Partnering with a major world leader like Chery Group is a pivotal moment for B–ON and its growth,” said Bruno Lambert, CEO of B–ON.

“Combined, our ability to provide high quality, low-cost electric commercial vehicles is unmatched in the market today, and I’m extremely optimistic about our joint prospects,” Lambert added.

“As a leading global automaker, we have long recognized the need to be prepared for an electric future,” said Tongyue Yin, Chairman of Chery Group. “Innovative, agile companies like B–ON are uniquely poised to supply the nascent and rapidly expanding commercial vehicle market in their local geographies but lack the manufacturing base to address the full mass-market demand. Our partnership makes for a perfect union. Together, our future is bright.” 

Chery Group is currently the third-largest automaker in China with nearly 2 million vehicles sold in 2023.

Read more news from The CV Show 2024

Maxus has revealed the long-awaited Maxus eDeliver 5 van at the Commercial Vehicle show.

The latest model in their electric van line-up the eDeliver 5 completes the small to large revamp of their product range which started with the eDeliver 3 compact van and includes eDeliver 7 mid-size and eDeliver 9 large van.

Imported into the UK by Harris Maxus, the eDeliver 5 gets a 64kWh battery returning a 208 mile range, according to the WLTP combined test cycle.

Power comes from a 120kW motor producing 240Nm of torque. The eDeliver 5 will also get a 1200kg payload and come in two roof heights with 6.m3 or 7.6m3 load volume.

Prices will start from £34,000 with order books open immediately. Production will begin next month at parent company SAIC’s production facilities in China and the first vans are expected to arrive in time for the registration plate change in September.

Speaking at the launch, Mark Barrett, Managing Director of Group Franchises at Harris Group, said: "It’s been eight years since the debut of our first all-electric commercial vehicle, the EV80. As a young brand, MAXUS has swiftly emerged as a trailblazer in the electric vehicle sector. And while we may be perceived as disruptors, our commitment to enhancing EV technology remains steadfast. Since 2016, we have introduced ten superb commercial and passenger vehicles to the UK market, eight of which are fully electric. Our latest products are yet another example of our e-vehicle market leadership and our unmatched ambition to continually build on our range.”

The eDeliver 5 was joined by the reveal of the new Mifa 7 people carrier – a smaller version of the Mifa 9 launched last year.

While new models in the van line-up are not expected in the foreseeable future, the eDeliver 3 will get an update next year, according to Barrett.

There will also be the introduction of a diesel engine version of the eDeliver 7 later this year.

Maxus’ plans for a heavy duty truck range have taken a back seat, however, the company is considering future plans for a lightweight truck range.

Future truck models will likely come at 7.5- and 10-tonnes GVW.

MAXUS eDELIVER 5 – CV Show model spec

Ford has expanded the range of the E-Transit with the introduction of a brand new 89kWh battery.

The new battery option will increase the Ford E-Transit's range to 402km (250 miles) on the WLTP test cycle.

Charging speeds. have also been improved with AC charge capabilities doubled from 11 kW to 22 kW, and DC fast charging increasing from 115kW to 180kW. That means that using an AC supply, a full overnight charge will take less than six hours while a DC fast charge will see 116 km of driving range added in just 10 minutes and an 10% to 80% charge taking approximately 28 minutes.

Servicing intervals are also increasing for both the new van and the current model with extended two-year/unlimited mileage service intervals - a doubling of the current one-year interval requirement.

A new vapour-injected heat pump will also be standard on the extended range E-Transit van. This will enable the cabin to be heated more efficiently and is a similar to the one used on Ford E-Transit Custom which is designed to improve energy efficiency and optimise range in colder weather.

Ford Pro expects that the increased capability of E-Transit extended range will appeal to customers with a wide range of use cases and requirements.

The new 89kWh battery will be available on E-Transit vans in L3 and L4 lengths as a van, double-cab-in-van and single chassis cab.

As with the existing E-Transit, GVWs will range from 3,500 kg to 4,250 kg allowing a maximum E-Transit payload of up to 1,460 kg for vans and 1,814 kg for chassis cab variants.

The extended range E-Transit will also. have a towing capacity of up to 750 kg for 3,500kg GVW vans.

“The extended range option for E-Transit is another example of the Ford Pro commitment to making high-productivity electric fleets a reality across Europe,” said Hans Schep, general manager, Ford Pro, Europe.

“Giving customers the option to drive further between charges alongside a wide choice of body styles and support from Ford Pro’s connected ecosystem strengthens our position as their trusted partner for complete fleet solutions," Schep added.

Ford Pro will also offer the E-Transit with a new factory-supported electric minibus conversion from Turkish converter ISRI.

Designed for taxi firms, schools and local authorities, the new E-Transit minibus will be able to seat up to 15 people and is based on an E-Transit L3 window van. Plated at 4,250 kg GVW, it can be specified with a single or double front passenger seat, and with a nine- or 12-seat rear layout. It's also available in either a standard or high height. Air conditioning, rear cabin heating and a powered side step are all standard. on the new E-Transit Minibus.

Ford E-Transit minibus with side door open

Read more news from CV Show 2024

Mercedes-Benz Vans has updated its Sustaineer project with a new e-cargo bike to accompany the Mercedes-Benz eSprinter based van.

The Sustaineer eSprinter van was first introduced in 2022 as an example of the work Mercedes is doing to use more sustainable materials in its production models. The latest iteration takes that concept and adds a new e-cargo bike to urban deliveries.

In cooperation with a Berlin-based cargo bike manufacturer, ONOMOTION, the van and bike show how the two can work together in a hub and spoke approach to last mile deliveries.

Mercedes says the eSprinter will become a mobile micro-depot bringing pre-packaged goods in special containers to cargo bikes. The e-bikes will then take deliveries direct to the door of customers. This, they say, will enable the eSprinter to spend less time standing idle at the kerb and it can instead carry on its way, improving delivery efficiency.

The concept is said to be suitable for a wide range of industries from courier, and parcel services to food and even textiles.

The consignments can be pre-picked a base ahead of the delivery route and then loaded into the interchangeable wheeled ONOMOTION containers. The eSprinter van then transports them to the handover point.

Each container has a load volume of more than 2m3 with a payload of up to 200kgs. The container lift works hydraulically, has recessed rollers, and can be controlled by remote, allowing them to be loaded and unloaded quickly and safely.

The large Sprinter dimensions means that are able to fit into a long-wheelbase van, while still leaving enough space for a shelving system – accessible through the right-hand rear door.

What is the ONO e-cargo bike?

The ONO e-cargo bike has a range of up to 25km and uses a 1.4 kWh battery with pull-away assistance of up to 6kmph. It also uses a replaceable battery system to increase range, and requires no driving licence.

What is in the Sustaineer demo van?

The Sustaineer technology demonstrators are currently undergoing intensive testing with a view to possible series production. Features being trailed include heating close to the body and zonal air conditioning to help increase the range of electric vehicles.

At –7C, zonal air conditioning with heating close to the body consumed around 25% less energy than conventional ambient air heating. At +5C energy was reduced by about 50% thanks to heated surfaces in the footwell, the driver's door and on the steering column panelling.

Because only the area around the driver, rather than the entire interior is heated, the air conditioning fan can run at a low level, reducing noise.

The Sustaineer also has a particulate filter integrated into the front module, developed to reduce particulates from tyres, brakes and asphalt wear from getting into the cabin.

There’s also a solar panel on the roof, components made from recycled materials like plastics as well as hemp.

The project is part of Mercedes' ongoing sustainability objectives.

When will it go on sale?

The Sustaineer is just a concept, however, elements from its trails could possibly make an appearance in future Mercedes-Benz van products. The next major update to their product range will be in the introduction of the electric VAN.EA platform, which will form the basis for both future medium and large vans.

New price lists for the Ford Transit Custom MS-RT reveal that the starting price for the pimped up van will begin at £49,550 excluding VAT.

The entry-level MS-RT Transit Custom is the 2-litre Ecoblue 150PS model with a 6-speed manual gearbox in L1H1 size. The entry-level price for the Transit Custom MS-RT is £49,550 without VAT rising to £59,460 with the VAT and a final VAT inclusive on the road price of £61,607 inc VAT.

The new 8-speed automatic gearbox adds £2,150 to the base price, although that does include a bump in power to the 170PS version.

Plug-in hybrid PHEV models will start at £52,580 ex VAT, using a 2.5-litre Duratec engine producing 232PS.

Also revealed is the price for the all-electric version of the E-Transit Custom MS-RT that will be Ford's most powerful van to-date. The E-Transit Custom MS-RT is priced from £60,490 for the 65kWh (usable) battery version producing a massive 210kW (282hp). The final on-the-road price takes the total to an eye-watering £74,400 - ouch!

The sportiest version of the Ford Transit Custom will also be available as a long-wheelbase model with comes at an additional £700 premium for all models.

Unsurprisingly the most expensive van in the range is the long-wheelbase electric version which costs £61,190 ex VAT with an on-the-road price of £75,240 if you're paying the VAT.

In addition to the heavily revised body work that features an aerodynamic front bumper, side skirts, motorsport-inspired rear spoiler optimised for airflow and downforce, LED light strip between the headlights, wider wheelarches and special anthracite 19-inch alloy wheels, Transit Custom MS-RT models also get a unique interior.

The MS-RT Transit Custom interior gets sporty new front seats made from a non-animal Eco-Leather, along with a handful of MS-RT logos and snazzy blue stitching. To really make it stand out, it will also be available in signature MS-RT launch colours with vivid Yellow Green and MS-RT Blue.

Stellantis ProOne was created towards the end of last year to symbolise the unification of the many Stellantis brands that now exist under its commercial vehicle umbrella. Citroen, Fiat, Peugeot and Vauxhall brands are now all built off shared platforms producing an unparalleled number of vehicles. With small, medium, and large models from four brands as well as internal combustion engine (ICE) and electric powertrains, there’s 24 individual models. Now, all of them which have been refreshed in some way, simultaneously in an unprecedented renewal of their light commercial vehicle line-up.

But the models aren’t just limited to battery electric vehicles (BEV) and diesel (and some petrol) engine models. Stellantis has also been working on incorporating hydrogen fuel cells into its van range with a mid-sized van available in France and Germany since 2022. Built as a manual conversion, off the production line, the medium-size hydrogen (built as the Vauxhall Vivaro-e Hydrogen) has enjoyed a degree of commercial success but has helped inform the production of an additional model on the large van platform chassis. Due to payload and range compromises for large BEV vans, hydrogen makes considerably more sense, increasing range, reducing “refilling” time compared to EVs and maintaining payload – all while being zero emission. Despite a slow proliferation of hydrogen filling stations across Europe, a European Commission roadmap to create refuelling points within 200km of each other across the entire network of major EU roads will enable hydrogen vans to become viable for many more customers.

However, creating a hydrogen vehicle using an existing platform is not a straightforward process. Renault-owned Hyvia has opted to install its hydrogen tanks on the roof for its first-generation van in an effort to become first to market with a large fuel cell LCV. While the next generation Renault Master (deliveries for which will begin later this year) will enable hydrogen fuel tanks to be incorporated into the chassis, Stellantis have managed to modify the configuration of their mid-sized van’s fuel cell system into the larger model thanks to its renowned ability to work for conversions – largely in the campervan segment.

front end view of the Citroen E- Jumper Hydrogen aka E-Relay Hydrogen

“The installation of the fuel cell system was more challenging than in the mid-sized van,” explains Stellantis hydrogen programme chief engineer, Peter Gross.

“The large van in terms of interior to exterior dimension is best in class, there’s’ nearly no empty packaging space left, so that is why the package looks quite different to the medium-sized van,” he explains.

While both medium and large vans are based on their BEV siblings. The large hydrogen vans will be available using the Citroen E-Relay platform, as well as the Fiat E-Ducato, Peugeot E-Boxer and Vauxhall Movano Electric. The medium van hydrogen fuel cell is based on the Citroen E-Dispatch, Fiat E-Scudo, Peugeot E-Expert and Vauxhal Vivaro Electric, all of which used the space under the bonnet to stack the fuel cell on top of the electric motor used to drive the front wheels. Gross explains that in the larger version this didn’t work, prompting his team to look elsewhere. They opted to use the location previously utilised by the large van’s diesel tank, located under the front seat.

“Package space was found under the front seat, there is a large diesel thank that has been removed and with some modification of the sheet metal there was a chance to put the high voltage battery and the fuel cell stack into this space.”

fuel cell and battery location underneath the large hydrogen van

The new location has mean that the air filter now sits in the front of a van, feeding air to a cathode just behind it that is linked by pipework to the fuel cell under the seats. Hydrogen is then fed into the fuel cell from the tanks located in the rear of the van between the chassis rails. Power is then either used for propulsion or stored in the battery underneath the fuel cell. Apart from the layout, there’s also one other significant difference between the medium and large vans.

“In the mid-sized van the battery was actually in the interior of the vehicle, but in the large van it’s in the floor with the other [components],” Gross explains. The result is an easier and more logical installation that, unlike the medium-sized van, will enable the large hydrogen van to come as a right-hand-drive van as early as next year. Unfortunately, the same isn’t true of the mid-sized van. Despite Stellantis launching the van more than a year ago and having moderate success in France and Germany – two countries with a relatively established network for hydrogen refuelling – it is only now just being rolled out to additional markets. The Netherlands, Belgium and other countries in western Europe all feature on the product plan, however, the UK will not for this generation of vehicle. Gross says that it will take a few years for the medium van to be available in right hand drive with a fuel cell, which will be for the next generation of van.

Loadspace of a large Stellantis van with a hydrogen fuel cell, showing no loss of carrying capacity

On the other hand, the large van was “considered from the very beginning” according to Gross due to our well-developed home delivery and courier services. While the UK doesn’t have a public infrastructure capable of supporting private use of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, Stellantis is clearly expecting some private businesses to invest.

“It’s well known that the UK is very open to alternative fuels and the fuel cell proposition,” Gross explains.

“The medium van, will not come as right hand drive in the next few years. It will come with the next generation. Physical constraints are always an issue if you take an existing vehicle and want to install fuel cell components you have to live with certain restrictions,” he adds.

Despite no right-hand-drive hydrogen medium vans, Gross says they’re growing in popularity. They’ll also greater visibility later this year when being used as passenger vehicles around Paris during the Olympics.

“The market demand is growing, and it’s important to have these products available to give customers options. There is no other OEM offering mid-size and large hydrogen vans. With the European Highway, the door will be open to use these vehicles all over Europe,” Gross says referring to the EU’s hydrogen road map.

With hydrogen uptake and infrastructure being such a chicken and egg scenario,  building a viable product is the best solution manufactures can have. That’s why Gross says considerable effort was made to ensure that as much hydrogen was able to be carried as possible. The addition of a fourth tank, compared to the medium van’s three, makes the large van a much more usable prospect for the fleets that are likely to be the primary buyers. That capacity, however, was only possible due to the large van’s innate ability carry payload. Luca Marengo, Stellantis commercial vehicles head of global product, attributes that to the van’s design and long standing success as a converted vehicle.

hydrogen van interior from Stellantis is the same as the large electric vans

“The Ducato and these [large Stellantis] vans have always been popular with conversions, particularly motorhomes. Storing clean and waste water is something they have always done. That has helped with the space in the chassis for the hydrogen,” Marengo explains.

Ultimately the market will decide how much of a success hydrogen vans will become, but with large vans and fleet customers, they stand a fighting chance. The scalability of the design will also help with a powertrain used across medium and large vans, there’s hope that like electric motors and modular battery packs, volumes will reduce the price and bring hydrogen to the mass market.

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