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Transportation & Fuel Source Technology

Royal Mail, CENEX, PostEurop & FuelCellEurope Developing Standard for Hydrogen Fuel Cell Postal Vans

Royal Mail, the postal operating authority for the United Kingdom is working with CENEX, PostEurop, the association of European public postal operators, and FuelCellEurope, the European association of fuel cell developers to develop a universal design specification for hydrogen fuel cell postal vans. Once a draft design specification has been developed Royal Mail intends to share the design brief with all the other European postal operators for input in order for it to be presented to major vehicle manufacturers around the world for consideration and to stimulate main stream construction at relatively affordable prices.

Dr Martin Blake, the Royal Mail's Head of Sustainability stated "we clearly see hydrogen fuel cell technology as the future means of small and medium vehicle propulsion in the not too distant future, it is now just a question of seeing which one of the major motor manufacturers can bring such fuel cell commercial vehicles to market in large numbers and reasonable prices first".

Patrick Maio, FuelCellEurope's Executive Director commented: "We are delighted that a leading European public postal service operator such as Royal Mail in UK is taking the lead to propose common technical specifications for small hydrogen fuel cell delivery vans. This is an important step forward in terms of recognition of the hydrogen fuel cell technology as a tangible solution for high rotation transport fleets. Whether the solution will come from Europe or to Europe is for us to respond now as an industry. Indeed we are talking about replacing vehicle fleets of tens of thousands of units in the next coming years, and the postal service business is very serious about radical greenhouse gas emission reductions and energy efficiency improvement. Now is the time for European fuel cell developers and global automobile manufacturers to put their act together, partner and take on this challenge. We are delighted to be associated with this initiative and will work hand in hand with Royal Mail, Cenex and PostEurop to try to make this initiative a great success"

Philippe Hlavacek, Chair for Social Responsibility of PostEurop added : "At Posteurop we are year after year more and more involved to improve the eco-efficiency of the postal operators. We have launched different projects such as the Green House Gas Reduction Program that includes an up to date measurement protocol or the Green Post Project to test an electric and hybrid vehicle for the delivery of mail - among initiatives carried out by our members and their share of best practice. With the hydrogen fuel cell technology, Royal Mail proposes another innovative step forward to reduce our carbon footprint in the area of transport. I have no doubt that PostEurop and other actors from the postal sector will take up the challenge and will encourage and promote this initiative all over the European postal members, as the interest shown by postal operators is a key factor to partner successfully with the industry."

Cenex CEO Robert Evans said: "UK Government policy is leading the global shift to a low carbon economy, and developing a commercial market for fuel cell technologies is a key part of this effort. Along with helping to tackle the climate change targets and security of energy supply challenges, fuel cell technologies represent significant market opportunities for the UK's strong capability base. As one of the country's largest fleet operators, we are very encouraged that the Royal Mail has taken a leading role in furthering the development and wide-scale deployment of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles."

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