Symbio announced the fuel cell integration plan for five- to seven-seat Nissan electric vans at the FC Expo 2017 in Tokyo. It says the zero-emissions vehicles will be a “breakthrough for fleet managers and the automotive community looking for sustainable growth” while reducing air pollution in urban areas.
In response to this problem, many cities are setting new mandatory regulations that between 20 percent and 50 percent must be clean-fleet vehicles, Symbio says. Because urban taxis are a major source of air pollution, cities may impose more more emission-related regulations on taxis in the future.
“With this integration to Nissan five- to seven-seat EVs, taxis can contribute to the improvement of air quality without any change to their daily activities,” said Fabio Ferrari, CEO of Symbio.
The e-NV200 with fuel cells will be available for serial production in September 2018.
The customized e-NV200 offers taxi drivers a similar total cost of ownership to a hybrid taxi, but with the range of an internal combustion engine. The vehicle could be used for intensive urban taxi operations or for online passenger transportation network services. It can be refueled with hydrogen in three minutes (3.8 kg hydrogen at 700 bar), the company says.
The Nissan-Symbio news comes as Toyota is betting big on hydrogen being the fuel of choice for fleets looking to reduce air pollution and meet emissions standards.
Toyota, along with Honda, Shell and other transportation and energy giants, has pledged to invest $1.5 billion a year in hydrogen and fuel cell products and has been a leader in advancing what it calls the “hydrogen society.” The automaker launched the first mass-market fuel cell car in 2015 and is working to develop hydrogen fueling stations and infrastructure around the globe.
Late last month Toyota said that it, in partnership with Shell, will build seven hydrogen fueling stations in California, with help from $16.4 million in grants from the California Energy Commission for these stations. Shell and Toyota’s contribution will be $11.4 million, Bloomberg reports.