Mitie’s document management business is set to trial the use of a specially designed hydrogen van in partnership with same-day distribution company CitySprint. The vehicle, which will initially serve three clients in the capital, will be the first hydrogen van used for courier services in the UK.
Developed by CitySprint in partnership with Renault, the hydrogen van has a range of over 200 miles and is powered by a battery and hydrogen fuel cell. The hydrogen combines with the air to produce electricity which is used to charge the battery or drive the vehicle. This process only emits drops of pure water resulting from the chemical reaction between the hydrogen and oxygen.
Both Mitie and CitySprint are focused on reducing carbon emissions in urban areas and are committed to continuing to look at new pioneering initiatives.
Mitie already runs an electric vehicle courier service for a key City firm which makes around 30 pick-ups or drop-offs every day. The firm has also installed a charging point at its loading bay to ensure there is enough charge to complete the daily schedule. In the two years since switching from a diesel van to an electric vehicle, costs have been reduced by over 31%, as well as a huge reduction in carbon emissions.
Other green courier initiatives offered to Mitie clients through CitySprint include the use of electric vans, electrically-assisted cargo bicycles and push bicycles, allowing a choice of vehicle depending on the package size. As well as reducing carbon emission, this approach also helps reduce congestion on London’s roads.
Richard Bartkow, Commercial and Supply Chain Director for Mitie’s document management business, said:
“Not only is this hydrogen van new for Mitie, it’s a first for the courier services industry too. We continually look to new and emerging technologies as our business evolves and offering this service is just one of the many ways we can support both our developing client needs and ensure our courier services are environmentally sustainable.”
Patrick Gallagher, CitySprint Group CEO, commented:
“Since the launch of our green fleet this August, we’ve already cut back on our CO2 emissions by as much as 10 tonnes. The trial of a hydrogen van is on a long list of environmentally-friendly vehicles we have tested over the years. We hope that along with our growing cargo bike fleet, this can prove to be a sustainable option and continue our commitment to reducing air pollution across the UK cities we operate in.”