Novel electric vehicles for more eco-friendly postal delivery
European postal service companies employ different vehicles to handle mail and parcels depending on transport volume and distance. For the final stage of the routing process, small vehicles set out from local sorting centres to deliver to areas in close proximity. There is a growing need to adapt such vehicles to sustainable transport that considers the environment while serving customer needs. The EU-funded MOBYPOST (Mobility with hydrogen for postal delivery) project delivered carbon-neutral EVs with novel technology based on a solar hydrogen fuel cell system. Project partners designed and built 10 EVs that are powered by hydrogen fuel cells and conceived for postal delivery. They tested two fleets of five EVs under real conditions at two industrial buildings. The hydrogen necessary to propel these EVs was produced in an autonomous way at each site by water electrolysis. The electric energy needed for the electrolysers was generated from photovoltaic panels installed on the buildings’ roofs. The MOBYPOST team developed two hydrogen production and refuelling stations. One of the stations consists of a photovoltaic generator that feeds an electrolyser where hydrogen is produced. Afterwards, hydrogen is stored on site in gaseous form in a low-pressure tank where EVs can directly be refilled. Vehicles were then ready for delivery. MOBYPOST’s solar-to-wheel concept offers several key innovative solutions. Energy is produced completely autonomously thanks to infrastructure that integrates a photovoltaic generator connected to an electrolyser that produces hydrogen. Since both the solar panels and electrolysers are installed at the same place, energy production is local. In addition, hydrogen that is produced but not immediately required will be stored. This leads to the availability of energy on demand. MOBYPOST’s renewable hydrogen approach and technology will usher in a new era of sustainable postal delivery transport.
Electric vehicles, postal delivery, MOBYPOST, hydrogen fuel cell, photovoltaic generator