First Hydrogen's Vehicle Trials Commence with Wales & West Utilities

February 05, 2024 3:05 AM EST | Source: First Hydrogen Corp.

Vancouver, British Columbia--(Newsfile Corp. - February 5, 2024) - First Hydrogen Corp. (TSXV: FHYD) (OTC Pink: FHYDF) (FSE: FIT) ("FIRST HYDROGEN" or the "Company") is pleased to announce the start of month-long vehicle trials with gas distribution network, Wales & West Utilities (WWU). First Hydrogen's hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicle (FCEV) has been designed to meet the needs of fleet operators such as WWU, who are seeking a zero emissions vehicle that can manage long distances, carry heavy payloads and tow, with fast refuelling. First Hydrogen's FCEV achieves more than 630km or 400 miles on a single refuelling.

WWU operates 24 hours a day, year-round to deliver vital gas network services. The First Hydrogen trials are taking place during winter, WWU's busiest period for emergency call-outs. Typically, cold temperatures can reduce the range for battery electric vehicles (BEVs), affecting fleet operators' reliability. The trials could also generate data to indicate the FCEV's advantage over BEVs in lower temperatures depending on the weather over the next month.

WWU supplies gas to more than 7.5 million customers across Wales and the south west of England. The trials commenced with training for WWU's drivers, enabling them to safely operate the vehicle and understand its technical differences. While completing First Hydrogen's Driver Training accreditation scheme, WWU's drivers performed manoeuvres with the vehicle and even completed a call out to a WWU customer's residence. Importantly, the drivers also practised refuelling the vehicle with green hydrogen, supplied by Protium Green Solutions, at Hyppo Hydrogen Solutions' refuelling unit. Both organizations have helped to develop a hydrogen ecosystem to support First Hydrogen's trial with WWU.

Steve Gill, Executive Director Automotive at First Hydrogen, comments: "It is great to see Wales & West Utilities' enthusiasm to start trials and we are eager for them to test the vehicle within routine fleet operations. Our FCEV has clear benefits for utility businesses, such as WWU, and we're keen to generate performance data during the trial that will further demonstrate how our vehicles can help decarbonize similar fleets while meeting everyday operational demands.

"This trial also pilots a hydrogen-as-a-service model to show operators how practically we can support the transition to FCEV fleets. With the support of Protium and Hyppo Hydrogen Solutions, we are building a green hydrogen fuel ecosystem for WWU, who are based in an area without access to refuelling infrastructure."

Stephen Offley, Transport Manager at Wales & West Utilities, says: "We are excited to begin testing First Hydrogen's vehicle and to experience the benefits of a hydrogen-powered vehicle within our fleet.

"The current light commercial electric vehicle market does not offer a full solution for the operational needs of WWU and similar businesses. Current battery electric vehicles do not provide the range, fast recharging time, payload capacity and towing ability we require. They are also unsuitable for the installation of 'on board power' to power tools and equipment on site, which is critical for the operation of our network. Lack of suitable recharging infrastructure also poses a challenge. We see hydrogen-powered vehicles, such as First Hydrogen's FCEV as the potential zero emission solution that will meet our fleet's future needs."

Jon Constable, COO of Protium, says: "Completing driver training and getting the First Hydrogen vehicle on the road is an exciting time for the Wales & West Utilities team and the wider collaboration. Demonstrating FCEVs in roles to which they are well suited, like fleet operations, is a key part of how we accelerate hydrogen deployment to meet our zero emission targets. It is always exciting to see our green hydrogen, produced by electrolysis using renewable electricity, in use in the field. The next month will generate some fantastic data and we hope it will inspire other fleet operators to consider hydrogen."

Chris Foxall, CEO at Hyppo Hydrogen Solution, comments: "From my perspective this trial is not only demonstrating the readiness level of the hydrogen technology available today, but also how we're leveraging so many companies to deliver a bespoke solution which can be scaled and repeated."

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About First Hydrogen Corp. (

First Hydrogen Corp. is a Vancouver, Montreal and London UK-based company focused on zero-emission vehicles, green hydrogen production and distribution. The Company has designed and built hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered light commercial vehicles ("FCEV") in partnership with AVL Powertrain and Ballard Power Systems Inc. The FCEV has a range of 630+ kilometres. These vehicles are being trialled with fleet operators in the United Kingdom. First Hydrogen is also developing a 35MW green hydrogen production facility and vehicle assembly factory in Shawinigan, Quebec.

About Wales & West Utilities (

Wales & West Utilities is investing £400m between 2021 and 2026 in the gas network, supporting the journey to Net Zero. By 2035, we aim to deliver a Net Zero ready network to the areas most likely to convert to hydrogen, transforming our entire network by 2040.

The company is also committed to playing its part in getting to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. It has 54 power stations connected to its network to support renewables like wind and solar power, while 21 green gas sites have capacity to inject enough decarbonised green gas to meet the demand of around 151,000 homes. Our network supplies bus garages in three locations across the south west of England, fuelling CNG buses that improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions from public transport.

About Protium Green Solutions (Protium.Green)

Protium is a UK-based hydrogen solutions provider for project operators, developers, and investors. Founded in 2019, Protium develops projects through their full lifecycle to support the deployment of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. Through Protium's operational assets, companies can access electrolytic hydrogen powered by renewables today.

About Hyppo Hydrogen Solutions (

Hyppo Hydrogen Solutions is a services-based company that is stimulating the green hydrogen economy by creating demand within local communities. It sees a future where clean hydrogen is powering every part of transportation needs, from cars, vans, buses and coaches to trucks, trains, ferries and aircraft. Clean hydrogen can also have a significant positive impact on power, heating and energy storage needs, helping to decarbonise the planet so that people and nature can thrive.

On behalf of the Board of Directors of

"Balraj Mann"
Chairman & Group CEO

Balraj Mann
First Hydrogen Corp.

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