What do you get when you mix hydrogen fuel cells with one of Australia’s most beloved vehicles? Try $50m in order requests in just four days.
That’s exactly the response that hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) developer H2X Global received after announcing that it was taking orders for its Australian-designed Warrego ute built on the chassis of the popular Ford Ranger.
Since orders opened to the public mid-last week, the company has already received over 200 order requests from all over Australia and the world, including Netherlands, Germany and Malaysia.
These include several significant energy companies and a number of private buyers.
H2X Global chief executive officer Brendan Norman said the pre-orders have exceeded all of the company’s expectations.
“We knew they would be popular but we’ve been blown away by the demand for the Warrego,” he said.
“Orders have literally been coming in from around the world. The word has got out that we’re on to something really special.”
The company will unveil the Warrego at its global launch on Queensland’s Gold Coast in November 2021 while delivery is expected to start in April 2022.
One of the first purchasers, green energy solutions and hardware provider Veida, noted that with hydrogen offering parity withdiesel on a kWh (kilowatt hour) to kWh basis, the Warrego was the vehicle that green energy pioneers had been waiting for.
“We work with our clients to create alternative, green energy solutions and the demand for green hydrogen in Australia is booming,” Veida director Haim Ptasznik said.
“H2X is enabling us to be the first to integrate hydrogen vehicles and their powertrains into our solutions. An Australian vehicle powered by green hydrogen is too good to pass up.”
The base model Warrego Ute features a 200kW motor, a 66kW fuel cell and 60kW energy storage systems.
This uses pure hydrogen to deliver a 500km driving range on a mix of highway and city roads while offering quick refuelling times of between three to five minutes.
Options include a 90kW fuel cell and 100kW of energy storage.
Being a ute, the Warrego will be to carry up to 1,000kg in the try and tow up to 2,500kg.
Hydrogen is increasingly seen as the go to green option for commercial vehicles.
While battery electric vehicles have a substantial head-start in recharging infrastructure and uptake for personal use, the long recharge times and battery weight make them unsuitable for commercial use.
Both the recharge time and weight are addressed by FCEVs, which can be refuelled quickly and are not reliant on large banks of batteries for range (though they may still have secondary batteries for various purposes).