New Vauxhall Vivaro-e Hydrogen 2022 assessment
The Vauxhall Vivaro-e Hydrogen has the identical driving manners as the electrical model, so it is a snug and stress-free expertise, whereas cargo house hasn’t been compromised, both. The most important flaw for this mannequin within the UK is our nearly whole lack of hydrogen filling stations. If this wasn’t such a difficulty, then the Vivaro-e Hydrogen could be very simple to suggest for patrons wanting a long-range zero-emissions van.
Electrical vans have gotten extra frequent within the business automobile sector, however they’re nonetheless not capable of provide the type of driving vary that some customers get from their trusty diesel vans. Nevertheless, the Stellantis Group is aiming to vary that with the introduction of a brand new line-up of hydrogen-powered vans. The enterprise into hydrogen drive is being led by German division Opel, so we have tried the Vivaro-e Hydrogen to see what it is like.
First, the technical bit. In the mean time, hydrogen fashions (whether or not primarily based on the Opel, Citroen e-Dispatch or Peugeot e-Skilled) are made by plucking accomplished electrical vans off the manufacturing line in France and sending them to Opel’s Particular Automobiles division at Russelsheim, Germany. Right here they’ve a few of their electrical operating gear ripped out to be reused in a brand new electrical van construct and changed with the hydrogen tech.
This replaces the drive battery that is mounted below the cargo ground with three tanks in a metal cage which are able to carrying 4.4kg of hydrogen, whereas the Vivaro-e’s electrical motor below the bonnet is joined by a gas cell stack which turns the saved hydrogen into electrical vitality. Lastly, a ten.5kWh lithium-ion battery pack (sourced from Stellantis’s plug-in hybrid fashions, such because the Citroen C5 Aircross) is added below the seats.
This set-up implies that the Vivaro-e Hydrogen has the identical 134bhp and 260Nm outputs because the all electrical Vivaro-e, whereas drive remains to be despatched to the entrance wheels by way of a single-speed gearbox. There is a most vary of round 250 miles, which is a mix of what the gas cell and battery can provide. The latter can ship round 31 miles of vary by itself, so you are not totally caught in case you run out of hydrogen. It is value noting that it takes three minutes to refill the hydrogen tanks, versus the lengthy recharging occasions that the battery-powered fashions have.
The hydrogen van’s carrying capability is not affected by the conversion, with a cargo quantity of 5.3 cubic metres for the usual van and 6.1 cubic metres for the long-bodied model, whereas payloads and towing weights are each one tonne. Nevertheless, one sacrifice you need to make with the Hydrogen mannequin is the choice of the double passenger seat and through-loading bulkhead – the situation of the battery precludes that set-up.
On the highway, the Vivaro-e Hydrogen drives largely just like the all-electric mannequin. There is a bit extra noise from the gas cell because it turns hydrogen into electrical energy, however it’s hardly loud and would not impinge on cruising consolation, whereas the sound is not linked to highway velocity, so it would not get any louder the quicker you go. The van is responsive off the road, however it tails off as you attain the 68mph prime velocity. Nevertheless, there’s greater than sufficient efficiency for on a regular basis duties.
Total weight is roughly the identical because the battery-powered Vivaro-e, so the hydrogen mannequin is smoother than the diesel mannequin and is extra car-like to drive than a few of its medium-sized contemporaries.
The one different variations are that the hydrogen van sits just a little larger on the again than the all-electric van – seemingly as a result of there’s much less weight over the rear wheels – whereas there is a flap within the entrance wing that hides the battery charger and the gas filler simply forward of the nearside rear wheelarch is reinstated a gap for filling the hydrogen tanks. Within the cab, the Vivaro-e Hydrogen is an identical to the remainder of the vary, save for the 2 smaller dials within the instrument cluster, which now present how a lot hydrogen is left within the tanks and battery capability.
E-Motor, 45kWh gas cell, 10.5kWh battery
Single-speed auto, front-wheel drive
|High velocity:||68mph (restricted)|
|Vary:||250 miles (est.)|
|Cargo Quantity:||6.1 cubic metres|
Now learn our full assessment of the battery-powered Vivaro-e…