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Vauxhall Introduces Its New Fuel Cell Electric Vivaro-e HYDROGEN Commercial Vehicle:

Hydrogen & Electric Powered... A Combination We'd Like To See More Of...

As part of the new Stellantis portfolio, the Vauxhall brand has introduced a new zero-emission light commercial vehicle for the United Kingdom (UK) utilizing hydrogen. The 2021 Vauxhall Vivaro-e HYDROGEN has a range of up to 249 miles and offers the customer the ability to fill up the vehicle in under three minutes without sacrificing cargo volume.

Vauxhall Vivaro-e HYDROGEN light commercial vehicle. (Vauxhall).

The Vauxhall brand is speaking with businesses in the UK about hydrogen full cell solutions and expects that it will offer right-hand-drive (RHD) vehicles to the market in 2023. Vauxhall’s sister brand Opel already has plans to deliver its version of the Vivaro-e HYDROGEN starting in the fall. The Vivaro-e HYDROGEN will be manufactured at Vauxhall/Opel’s Research and Development Center in Rüsselsheim, Germany.

Vauxhall Vivaro-e HYDROGEN light commercial vehicle. (Vauxhall).

The new Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) is based on the existing Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) Vivaro-e. The plug-in fuel-cell concept of the Vivaro-e HYDROGEN enables the integration of the whole fuel cell system with the existing traction motor under the hood of the production vehicle. The battery used in the BEV Vivaro-e is replaced by three carbon-fiber 700-bar hydrogen tanks. 

Vauxhall Vivaro-e HYDROGEN light commercial vehicle. (Vauxhall).

Thanks to its clever packaging, the battery-electric version becomes a fuel-cell electric LCV without any modifications to the body and no impact on the cargo space. There are two lengths available, a standard model that measures 4.96 (16.2 feet) meters in length, or a longer variant that is stretched to 5.3 meters (17.4 feet).

Vauxhall Vivaro-e HYDROGEN light commercial vehicle. (Vauxhall).

The Vivaro-e HYDROGEN with its 45kW fuel cell is capable of generating enough power for continuous motorway driving, while the 10.5kWh lithium-ion battery, located under the front seats, provides dynamic peak power when required. Since the battery covers power needs in such situations, the fuel cell can run at optimum operating conditions. The battery also enables regenerative braking, while the plug-in capability offers the opportunity to recharge the battery externally if necessary, e.g. at a charging station, providing 31 miles of pure battery-electric range.

Vauxhall Vivaro-e HYDROGEN light commercial vehicle. (Vauxhall).

We would love to see more FCEVs in the automaker’s portfolio. Remember how hydrogen was supposed to revolutionize the auto industry in the early 2000s? We really hope there are more alternatives to BEVs since not everyone has the time to wait for an electric vehicle to recharge.

What do you think of the idea of combining Hydrogen technology as a range-extending option for electric vehicles? Let us know in the comments below or in the MoparInsiders forum.

Robert S. Miller

Robert S. Miller is a diehard Mopar enthusiast who lives and breathes all that is Mopar. The Michigander is not only a Co-Editor for MoparInsiders.com, 5thGenRams.com, and HDRams.com but an automotive photographer. He is an avid fan of offshore powerboat racing, which he travels the country to take part in.

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This is why I believe the scale and diversity of Stellantis makes this merger so appealing. Although I am not thrilled with the styling, interior or capability of this Vauxhall van, I am impressed with its engineering and advancement of technology. Indeed this may not be the wave of the future, but it does point to innovation and visionary thinking that likely will navigate to all corners of the Stellantis universe of brands. Dodge speaks to reinventing the muscle car and as a product of that classic era, I shutter with thoughts of all kinds of battery powered utensils disguised as Challengers that go silently into the night, naray a chirp of rubber. Perhaps we ancient street racing jockeys should just fade away with our memories and let a new breed of hydrogen warriors enjoy the future. Poor souls.

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