Citroën Ë-Jumpy Hydrogen marks a new step forward in the brand’s electrification strategy. It completes our range of zero-emission light commercial vehicles, the largest on the market. This new solution combines both Lithium-ion Battery and Fuel Cell technologies, in order to respond to intense use by professionals thanks to a hydrogen charging time of just three minutes and a driving range of 400km. This technology will play an essential part in the roll-out of zero-emission mobility solutions for professionals.”
Richard Meyer, Strategy & International Development – Light Commercial Vehicles Business Unit
Operators of SUEZ Carcassonne drove ë-Jumpy Hydrogen during the month of January. Their feedback on this first fuel cell light van is very positive and highlights how closely the features offered match with the usages required by their activities.
A technology adapted to this type of use
At the Carcassonne site, the site foremen are the ones who will exclusively use ë-Jumpy Hydrogen for their daily activities. Their role is multifaceted, involving worksite visits, restocking of small and large equipment supplies, emergency repair work in the event of a water leak – hence the absolute need to have a vehicle available 24/7 with sufficient driving range to avoid refuelling during the day. Their journeys, within the city and its outskirts, are therefore fairly short (about 100km) but frequent, and their vehicles must be available quickly. The vehicles are generally loaded to more than half their volume and the load often exceeds 200kg.
Hydrogen technology is presented as complementary to the standard electric vehicles offer as it makes it possible to answer specific usage. Indeed it meets the wide-ranging usage requirements in terms of available driving range of 400km and optimal operating time, thanks to the rapid refuelling which ensures the vehicles are permanently operational. Filling up at their 350 bar station takes just three minutes for half a tank (or three minutes for a full tank at a 700 bar station). The 10.5 kWh battery, providing a 50km reserve if the hydrogen tanks run out, is very easy to charge on a standard 220V socket, at night, three to five times a week.
Great serenity of use
The vehicle offers a high level of physical comfort while also being hassle-free thanks to hybrid electric-hydrogen technology. Users can carry out all their activities with peace of mind, without any stress over driving range or ability to load equipment.
The driving pleasure that offers ë-Jumpy Hydrogen, typical of the electric traction chain, was a very pleasant discovery for the person who used the vehicle and who had never driven an electric vehicle: “You adapt very quickly to ë-Jumpy Hydrogen’s smooth and silent driving (no engine noise or external noise pollution), which proves very easy and pleasurable in all situations.”
The overall driving range of 400km proposes major versatility. The user can multiply short journeys without worrying about charging and meet the needs of the 44% of customers in the compact van segment who say they occasionally travel more than 300km. Hydrogen technology offers a new solution in the field of professional mobility, complementary to the development of purely electric versions. Hydrogen technology is less sensitive when it comes to carrying heavy loads, driving speed and weather conditions, such as negative temperatures reducing range. Its exothermic system even generates heat, improving thermal comfort. A driving range that is less sensitive to variations, improving planning of activities.
Ë-Jumpy Hydrogen can be constantly operational thanks to ultra-fast charging because drivers are not necessarily able to include one or more charging breaks in their daily rounds and because they may need a vehicle available 24/7, filling up the hydrogen tank only takes three minutes. “Regarding the powertrain, ë-Jumpy Hydrogen offers good driving range and there are no difficulties charging the battery and hydrogen tanks.”
Loading capacities have been preserved. The useful volume of ë-Jumpy Hydrogen is the same as the thermal vehicle’s one: 5.3m3 for the Medium body style and 6.1m3 for the XL. It offers a payload and towable load of up to 1 tonne on both versions. Its useful width between wheel-arches of 1.25m is sufficient to load Euro palettes. “Ë-Jumpy Hydrogen has as much useful space as its combustion engine version, an essential factor for us as we regularly use over half of the vehicle’s volume. It also facilitates storage and handling of the equipment we transport.”
The relevance of Citroën’s choice of “mid-power” technology
This hydrogen technology combines a lithium-ion battery with a fuel cell connected to hydrogen tanks. When hydrogen and air are brought into contact with a catalyst, the fuel cell generates electricity to power an electric motor, the only residue released being water vapour. Compared to a battery, a fuel cell is considered more as an energy converter than a storage device.
This hybrid solution was chosen by Citroën following research conducted in partnership with Symbio, a joint venture specialised in fuel cells and created by Michelin and Faurecia. Ë-Jumpy Hydrogen benefits from both technologies, i.e. the 10.5kWh lithium-ion battery and the 45kW fuel cell, powered by three 700 bar hydrogen tanks, developed by Faurecia and with a useful storage capacity of 4.4kg of hydrogen.
Hydrogen provides the energy needed for greater range, while the mid-capacity battery combines power and performance with energy recovery and recharging capability. This solution offers various advantages. Firstly compactness, since the battery under the seats and the tanks under the floor have no impact on the loading volume. This system also ensures there is no compromise in terms of performance, with a fuel cell powerful enough to guarantee constant speed on the motorway. The battery then provides the energy required for acceleration and other features such as the extra power required when starting and for the first few kilometres. Hybrid technology also increases the durability of the propulsion system and limits the risk of “running dry”, since the battery provides reserve power when the hydrogen tanks are empty.
A technology of the future
The versatility of the various hydrogen systems allow for a multitude of applications. This technology of the future will therefore play an essential role in the energy transition, particularly in the field of mobility, by responding to a certain type of use.
A carbon-free mobility solution for specific professional uses
A lot of companies, such as the SUEZ Group, which are taking a strong approach to reducing their environmental footprint, will have a strategic interest in using a hydrogen ecosystem to improve their fleet’s green credentials. Many other professionals: municipal services and local authorities, the transport and logistics sector, express and special courier services or work vehicles, such as motorway operators, that need to make shorter or longer journeys depending on urgent call-outs, etc.
SUEZ looks to green hydrogen
In the context of the energy transition, the challenge is to develop renewable green hydrogen production via electrolysis of water using electricity from wind or solar power or biogas generated by the decomposition of household waste. For example, SUEZ, in association with SIPERREC, is developing a project that aims to create the first green hydrogen production and distribution plant (electricity produced from combustion of household waste transformed into hydrogen by a water electrolysis process) at an Energy Recovery Unit in Créteil in France, due to be operational by the end of 2022. This plant should eventually be able to distribute up to 1 tonne of hydrogen per day, thereby preventing the emission of 1300 tonnes of CO2 each year.