CamMotive becomes technology partner in £16m project to develop hydrogen-powered Ford E-Transit in the UK

9 May 2023

  • Innovation consortium will test hydrogen fuel cell technology as a potential zero-emission energy source for higher duty-cycle E-Transit use-cases.
  • Announcement follows launch of CamMotive’s specialist EV testing centre in Cambridge.

CamMotive has been announced as a technology partner in a £16m project to develop a hydrogen-powered version of the iconic Ford Transit commercial vehicle.

The FCVGen2.0 project has been created to design, build and trial a small fleet of fuel-cell powered Ford electric Transits, aiming to offer real-world operation capability equivalent to Diesel powered ones.

A Ford Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV)

The three-year project is led by global automotive company Ford with joint funding from the UK Government, awarded through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) Collaborative Research and Development programme.

The project aligns with ambitions by the UK Government and industry to build an end-to-end supply chain for zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs). It is designed to increase the power and range of hydrogen powered light commercial vehicles (LCVs), initially using a low-volume test fleet of eight fuel cell Ford E-Transits, and to prove a business case for their wider rollout. The capability for fuel cell system assembly and vehicle conversion will be built at Ford’s Dagenham Estate in Essex, UK.

CamMotive has been named as a technology partner alongside composites technology company Cygnet Texkimp and hydrogen powertrain solutions specialist Viritech with integrated energy company, bp, and grocery retailer, Ocado Retail, completing the consortium of companies.

CamMotive’s role in the consortium is to carry out a programme of e-powertrain tests on the hydrogen fuel cells used in the trial fleet. Testing will take place at CamMotive’s specialist testing and development facility in Cambridge using a bespoke test rig capable of replicating the demands on the fuel cell during operation. Tests will be designed to analyse safety, functionality and power delivery. Their aim will be to gather performance data that can be used to validate, optimise and develop the fuel cell technology in order to increase range and operating hours to match the diesel-powered equivalent Transit without the need to charge.

CamMotive is the EV (electric vehicle) division of Cambustion, which has provided engine testing and emissions control for ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles since 1987. CamMotive’s e-testing facility was opened in March this year to offer low-carbon emission e-powertrain technologies for the EV industry.

“This ground-breaking collaboration is set to generate valuable research that will forward the UK’s transition to a hydrogen-powered low-carbon economy, and we’re delighted to be part of it,” says CamMotive director Bruce Campbell.

“Our business has evolved significantly to support the emergence of battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles, combining over three decades of testing expertise with investment in dedicated, world-leading facilities.

“The role of powertrain and emissions testing is fundamental to assessing the feasibility of new and pioneering technologies like hydrogen fuel cell. We’re looking forward to putting all of this capability into helping to make Ford’s E-Transit the most efficient and convenient hydrogen fuel-cell commercial vehicle possible.”

A wide shot of the team at Advanced Propulsion Centre UK

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