Commercial's hydrogen vans in London
Commercial's hydrogen vans in London
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Commercial Group’s hydrogen fleet

  • Largest private UK fleet of hydrogen fuelled vehicles
  • Hydrogen vans are hybrids which can run on sustainable biodiesel as well with sub-75g/km CO2
  • Ten vans converted by ULEMCo Ltd
  • Part of Innovate UK funded London Hydrogen Network Expansion (LHNE) project

THE  Commercial Group has taken delivery of its tenth hydrogen-fuelled hybrid van to add to its already successful and fully operational fleet.

The hydrogen fuelled vans converted by ULEMCo Ltd are currently deployed to Commercial’s hubs in Cheltenham, Swindon, Basingstoke and Hemel Hempstead and form the UK’s largest private fleet of hydrogen fuelled vehicles.

Expanding its delivery network will allow Commercial to distribute office supplies to a larger number of customers, particularly in the London area, further reducing Commercial’s carbon footprint and in turn passing these environmental benefits on to customers.

Director Simone Hindmarch-Bye said: “Commercial Group is privileged to be in such an authoritative position. This reaffirms our commitment to being a business leader, implementing innovative solutions that will benefit the business landscape in an environmentally friendly way.” .

Commercial Group became the first office services company in the UK to trial low carbon hydrogen vans to distribute supplies to its customers across the South West. A development vehicle was demonstrated at Commercial’s CSR Day at the 2013 Cheltenham Science Festival with the first operationally-ready vehicle making its maiden delivery in December 2013.

Further testing over the winter culminated in the roll out of vans based in Cheltenham and London, with the full fleet live by the middle of 2014.

Delivering office supplies and stationery in London using hydrogen hybrid delivery vans was a key turning point for Commercial.  The vans were the culmination of over two years’ work and deployed as part of the Innovate UK funded London Hydrogen Network Expansion (LHNE) project.

Being able to offer a hydrogen powered delivery service to customers in London demonstrates the strides that the city is making in its endeavours to improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions.

Hydrogen provides low carbon transport that can be refuelled in minutes.  The technology used in Commercial’s van fleet significantly reduces carbon dioxide emissions, as well as releasing less particulates and oxides of nitrogen.

At present, the vehicles supplied by ULEMCo Ltd are the only vehicle in their class to offer sub-75g/km carbon emissions, along with the necessary operational requirements of range, payload and refuelling times. Hydrogen is produced in many ways, including using water and solar energy, and waste gas.

The hydrogen vans are hybrids with the ability to run on sustainable biodiesel as well, offering the possibility of the ultimate in sustainable deliveries. Commercial’s activity so far has demonstrated the potential carbon and air quality benefits of hydrogen power but he this is the first long term trial of the hybrid technology.

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