Opel unveiled a new electric-powered light commercial vehicle that will provide zero-emission mobility for customers who need to refuel in minutes.
The Opel Vivaro-e HYDROGEN is a plug-in fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) with up to 6.1 cubic metres of cargo capacity (the same as the diesel or battery electric versions of the Vivaro) that can be refueled with hydrogen in three minutes – roughly the same time it takes to fill up a conventional diesel or petrol car. The range is over 400 kilometers (WLTP1). The Vivaro-e HYDROGEN will be available in M and L lengths from Opel (4.95 and 5.30 metres). The first vehicles will be delivered to fleet customers in the autumn, according to the company’s plans.
The new FCEV is based on the existing battery-electric Opel Vivaro-e with two sliding side doors. The Vivaro-e HYDROGEN’s plug-in fuel cell concept allows for the integration of the entire fuel cell system with the production vehicle’s existing traction motor under the hood. Furthermore, the Vivaro-e BEV’s (battery electric vehicle) battery is replaced by three 700 bar hydrogen tanks. The carbon-fibre cylinders can be filled in three minutes and have a range of more than 400 kilometers. The battery electric version thus becomes a fuel cell electric LCV without any modifications to the body and with no impact on the 5.3 to 6.1 m3 of cargo space, while the payload increases to 1,100 kg, thanks to smart packaging.
The 45 kW fuel cell in the Opel Vivaro-e HYDROGEN is capable of generating enough power for continuous highway driving, while the 10.5 kWh lithium-ion battery located under the front seats provides dynamic peak power when needed, such as at start-up and acceleration. Because the battery provides power in such situations, the fuel cell can operate at peak efficiency. The battery also supports regenerative braking, and the plug-in capability allows the battery to be recharged externally if necessary, such as at a charging station, providing 50 kilometers of pure battery electric range.
Opel Special Vehicles (OSV) in Rüsselsheim will manufacture the Vivaro-e HYDROGEN. Stellantis’ global “Competence Centre for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells” is also located in Opel’s hometown.
As the newest member of Opel’s all-electric LCV family, the Vivaro-e HYDROGEN joins the Vivaro-e and Combo-e. The next new model, the new Movano-e, will also arrive in 2021, completing the brand’s entire light commercial vehicle portfolio by the end of this year. By 2024, Opel will offer an electrified version of every passenger car and light commercial vehicle model.
“Hydrogen could be the central element of an integrated and efficient energy system of the future, free of fossil fuels”, says Opel CEO, Michael Lohscheller. “We have more than 20 years of experience in hydrogen fuel cell vehicle technology. There is hardly another propulsion system in the world that offers the combination of zero emissions, long driving range and only three minutes refuelling time.”