The world’s third-largest automaker Stellantis — which owns brands such as Citroën, Fiat, Peugeot and Vauxhall — has said it will release hydrogen-powered versions of eight of its current battery-electric van models, in a bid to “cement [its] standing as the undisputed leader in zero-emission propulsion in commercial vehicles in Europe”.

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“Aimed at supporting intensive customer use, the fuel cell versions of the commercial vans build on the technology used in the zero-emission BEV variants of the vehicles, with the added advantages of short refueling times and no sacrifice of payload capability,” the Amsterdam-headquartered company explained in a statement.

“For the mid-size vans, a second generation of the fuel-cell system delivers a segment record range of up to 400km and refueling time of less than four minutes. For the large vans, the addition of fuel cell technology brings range capability of up to 500 km and refueling time of just five minutes.”

The eight fuel-cell models consist of the Citroën ë-Jumpy and ë-Jumper, Fiat Professional E-Scudo and E-Ducato, Opel/Vauxhall Vivaro and Movano, and Peugeot E-Expert and E-Boxer.

Production is “starting now” at the company’s plants in Hordain, France, and Gliwice, Poland, the company has said, without specifying which models it will immediately build or when they will be commercially available.

The four large Stellantis van models soon to be available in fuel-cell versions. Photo: Stellantis

The move comes just over eight months since Stellantis acquired a 33.3% stake in fuel-cell supplier Symbio — a joint venture between tyre giant Michelin and car parts supplier Faurecia — in order to “bolster our leadership position in hydrogen-powered vehicles”.

None of Stellantis’ 14 brands — which also include Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Lancia, Maserati, Opel, Ram and Abarth — manufacture hydrogen-powered cars or have announced plans to do so.

“The action to bring hydrogen fuel cell mid-size vans and add fuel cell large vans to our production lines is a proof point of our commitment to maintain the lead in cutting-edge hydrogen technology and make it available to our most demanding customers,” said Jean-Michel Billig, Stellantis chief technology officer for hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle development.

“The skills and dedication of our engineering and operational teams are essential as we pursue the ambitions of Dare Forward 2030 [a company plan to double net revenues by 2030, compared to 2021] and maintain the lead in the zero-emission commercial vehicle segment.”