Vancouver, B.C., – First Hydrogen Corp. (“FIRST HYDROGEN” or the “Company”) (TSXV: FHYD) (OTC: FHYDF) (FSE: FIT), after successful UK vehicle trials, is pleased to announce the launch of its new hydrogen-powered-fuel-cell vehicle (“FCEV”) program for North America. The North American (“NA”) program will perfectly align with the Company’s expansion plan and the maturity of Quebec’s hydrogen ecosystem. First Hydrogen intends to develop two additional demonstrator FCEVs to showcase with potential North American fleet customers. The Company will continue its successful trial program in the United Kingdom with interested fleet operators.
First Hydrogen’s FCEV trials have shown hydrogen power will be essential to meet the critical range, payload towing and fast refueling capabilities required by fleet operators in sectors such as grocery, parcel delivery, mining and utilities which cannot be met by battery-electric vehicles (“BEV”). Over the past year, First Hydrogen’s UK engineering team’s dedication to the development of the Company’s FCEV has created leading know-how and expertise in the hydrogen automotive sector.
The North American demonstrator program is the next step towards the Company’s plans to build a vehicle assembly facility and green hydrogen production plant in Shawinigan, Quebec. The Company’s “Hydrogen as-a-Service” model will provide customers in the Montreal-Quebec City hub with clean green hydrogen fuel and zero-emission commercial vehicles in order to accelerate the creation of zero-emission ecosystem solutions. The assembly facility target will be for annual production of up to 25,000 vehicles for distribution throughout North America and will represent a major boost to green technology jobs in the region.
The North American, Quebec-based, development program will be led by Stéphane Gagnon as the Lead Engineer. Mr. Gagnon brings overs 30 years of extensive experience to First Hydrogen, previously as program manager for the development of the Airbus A220 (C-Series) at Bombardier Aéronautique and as chief engineer at Novabus (a division of Volvo Group). Mr. Gagnon will work closely with Head of Automotive, Steve Gill and his team.
Francois Morin, VP of Development – North America, stated: “It is important for us to share our knowledge gained from the development of the two UK FCEVs as we add FCEVs in Quebec. The additional FCEVs build momentum as we move forward with the hydrogen production and vehicle assembly plant in Shawinigan.”
Steve Gill, Head of Automotive – First Hydrogen, commented, “I am excited to be part of the new North American program. The application of our hydrogen powertrain technology to a North American vehicle platform will show the technology to a new set of customers. There will be new challenges, but I am confident in our professional skills and determination to create additional demonstrators to our existing FCEVs.”
Stephane Gagnon stated, “Joining First Hydrogen is an important milestone in my career. I truly believe that First Hydrogen’s FCEVs can have a tremendous impact on the transport sector’s decarbonization. Looking at the success the Company has reached in the UK with the hydrogen technology and the customer experience, really motivates me to implement such a program in NA. Also, working with all the suppliers and regulatory bodies to build the best in-class NA demonstrators is an achievement that I’m looking to do with dedication and pride.”
About First Hydrogen Corp. (FirstHydrogen.com)
First Hydrogen Corp. is a Vancouver, Montreal and London UK-based company focused on zero-emission vehicles, green hydrogen production and distribution. The Company has designed and built hydrogen-fuel cell-powered light commercial vehicles (“FCEV”) in partnership with AVL Powertrain and Ballard Power Systems Inc. The FCEV has a range of 630+ kilometres. These vehicles are being trialled with fleet operators in the United Kingdom. First Hydrogen is also developing a 35MW green hydrogen production facility and vehicle assembly factory in Shawinigan, Quebec.