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National Terms of Reference for The Deployment of a Hydrogen Powered Van Trial

No. 548/20 Dear Colleagues,

National Terms of Reference for The Deployment of a Hydrogen Powered Van Trial Branches are reminded of LTB 407/20 dated the 31st July 2020, advising of the trial of a CNG Iveco Van and the trial of gas powered motive unit at the Chorley Vehicle Operating Centre, both of which are trialling alternative fuels, as opposed to the various number of Electric Vehicles (EVs) on trial in deliveries.

The LTB further informed Branches that Aberdeen City Council has approached Royal Mail to trial a hydrogen powered commercial vehicle to use in the Altens Delivery Office, Aberdeen, free of charge. Hydrogen is high quality energy and is used to power fuel cell vehicles, unlike fossil fuels which mainly include petroleum and coal that provide for the major extent of energy needs around the globe today. Hydrogen, however, readily combines with other molecules and the most common way to liberate hydrogen is to use heat and catalysts to reform hydrocarbons. Hydrogen fuelled vehicles do not emit greenhouse gases or other pollutants, as during combustion hydrogen only produces water vapour, thus reducing the release of harmful gasses such as carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide into the atmosphere.

The vehicle to be deployed is a Euro 6 Ford Transit L3 H3 converted to run on hydrogen, which uses blends of hydrogen and diesel for performance and emissions reduction. The range of the hydrogen converted vehicle whilst running on hydrogen, is dependent on the specific duty cycle but has been estimated to be 120 miles. The Project as previously reported in LTB 407 is a result of the Council’s role within the EU funded ‘Civitas PORTIS’ project which looks at sets of sustainable mobility measures in port cities, to improve the attractiveness of the urban environment. The Council is committed to Aberdeen becoming a more maintainable, low carbon city. The Council want to encourage the uptake of low emission vehicles, particularly hydrogen vehicles within the private sector, as this is part of their solution to improving the city’s air quality and cutting carbon emissions which will have undeniably associated health benefits. The Council also want to continue to lead on hydrogen technology, with Royal Mail participating in the project; the intention will be to promote the involvement and willingness by the private sector to trial hydrogen vehicles.

Cross departmental discussions have therefore been undertaken in relation to an agreement to enable the activity to take place. The CWU will be fully involved in all aspects of the trial locally, to help promote the benefits and purpose of the trial. The trial will be jointly overseen and monitored by RM Fleet Innovation and Environment Manager, who will provide periodic reports to the CWU both locally and nationally. The activity will be the subject of a joint review six months after the commencement of the trial and periodically thereafter, as agreed by the Royal Mail Fleet Operational Specification Group (RMFOS).

Local Managers, CWU Representatives and drivers involved in the trial will also feed into this process. The attached visuals provide confirmation of the vehicle to be deployed in RM livery and branded with the cruciform, as well as a reference to hydrogen. Branding has now been signed off, including the safety documentation. The vehicle has also been checked for suitability of collection and delivery in Altens.

Any queries to the content of the above, please contact the Outdoor Department reference 300, email address:

Yours sincerely,

Mark Baulch CWU Assistant Secretary

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