Office supply firm claims hydrogen delivery first

An office supply company claims it will become the first business of its kind in the UK to use hydrogen delivery vehicles when it begins a trial scheme next week.

Due to launch on Monday (January 16) Commercial Group says it will be the first office services company in the UK to use hydrogen when it take part in ITM Power's nationwide Hydrogen On Site Trial (HOST) programme.

So far 22 companies, including Carillion, RAC and Tarmac, have trialled HOST - but Commercial says it is the only company in its sector to be chosen.

Over the five day trial Commercial will run two HICE Transit vehicles, supplied by ITM, and use ITM's transportable high pressure refuelling unit (HFuel).

HFuel makes hydrogen on site, using only water and electricity, and refills vehicles in just five minutes.

The vans will be used to deliver goods to customers throughout the region all of who are situated within a 40 mile radius of Cheltenham.

Commercial's environmental strategist, Simon Graham, revealed the trial is the first of three with plans for biomethane and electric powered vehicles also planned.

He said: "We are currently exploring a number of low carbon vehicle options.

"The opportunity to be part of HOST enables us to see first-hand how hydrogen will work for the company and gain an invaluable insight into the benefits this particular technology has to offer."

Commercial has run its 60-strong fleet on sustainable biodiesel for the past six years and hopes that the results of this particular trial will show a greener, more flexible fuel option that will, if taken up by the company, further reduce the environmental impact of its deliveries.

"Our award-winning biodiesel system has been a huge success and is one of the main reasons we have been able to reduce our van emissions by 78%.

"To reduce our emissions further we need to look at alternative low carbon fuels, what were emerging technologies in 2005 are now becoming commercially viable and we will be exploring a number of them to see which fits our business best."

ITM's chief executive, Graham Cooley, added: "Commercial's inclusion in the trial will highlight the very real use of hydrogen, today, inviting in a new era of carbon-free deliveries for office supplies, helping businesses reduce their supply-chain carbon impact, and improving air quality in the urban environment."

Luke Walsh


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