hero hydrogen fuel cell technology hero hydrogen fuel cell technology

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology

Beyond electrification, Stellantis is pursuing a broad spectrum of energy carriers and powertrain technologies to address the widest range of mobility requirements. And this includes hydrogen. 

Stellantis has developed a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Zero Tailpipe Emission solution which combines the advantages of hydrogen fuel cells and electric battery technology in a Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV). This solution is particularly suited to the needs of light commercial vehicle (LCV) customers requiring long-range, fast refueling and zero tailpipe emissions...all without compromising payload capacity.

Given the profile of our customers, we have designed an exclusive mid-power architecture solution which delivers a segment record range of up to 400 km (249 miles) on our mid-size vans; for large vans, this solution offers a range up to 500 km (311 miles) and a refueling time of five minutes.

Hydrogen provides the energy needed for extended driving range, while a medium capacity battery provides the power for dynamic performance in addition to energy recovery and plug-in capability.    

To preserve payload capacity, all components of the fuel cell propulsion system are external to the cargo space. The system can also be integrated with our existing battery electric LCV platform, meaning minimum variation and maximum synergies between the full battery-electric and the hydrogen versions.

Image of Stellantis mid-size (top) and large (bottom) hydrogen fuel cell van line-up (January 2024) Image of Stellantis mid-size (top) and large (bottom) hydrogen fuel cell van line-up (January 2024)

Stellantis mid-size (top) and large (bottom) hydrogen fuel cell van line-up (January 2024)

Stellantis has started in-house production of its hydrogen fuel cell light commercial vehicles (both mid-size and large van offerings) at its plants in Hordain (France) and Gliwice (Poland). The eight fuel cell hydrogen versions produced will include the Citroën ë-Jumpy and ë-Jumper, Fiat Professional E-Scudo and E-Ducato, Opel/Vauxhall Vivaro and Movano, and Peugeot E-Expert and E-Boxer.

In 2023, Symbio, an equally-owned joint venture, inaugurated its first gigafactory in France. This is the largest integrated fuel cell production site in Europe and will enable Stellantis to continue to expand its hydrogen vehicle product offering.

Pioneering Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles

What is a fuel cell?

By combining hydrogen and air in the presence of a catalyst, a fuel cell generates electricity to drive an electric motor, with water vapor as the only by-product. So, compared to a battery, a fuel cell is an energy converter rather than a storage device.

Fuel cell electric vehicle architectures range from a “full-power” configuration, at one end of the spectrum, to a “range-extender” configuration, at the other. 

  • Full-Power: a fuel cell is the main source of propulsion under all operating conditions. This requires a large and powerful fuel cell and a small battery. 
  • Range-Extender: a battery-electric vehicle with a large battery is combined with a small low-power fuel cell that extends the range of the vehicle by supplying power to the battery. However, the fuel cell is unable to generate enough power to propel the vehicle when the battery is empty.

At Stellantis, we have chosen a mid-power solution based on our customer requirements.

What are the advantages of our mid-power, plug-in hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle?

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It enables smart packaging compared to the full-power system

Since a mid-power fuel cell is also mid-size, the entire system can be integrated with our existing battery-electric LCV production models. We replaced the traction battery with three storage tanks that provide hydrogen to the fuel cell system.

This converts a battery-electric LCV into a fuel cell electric LCV without modifications to the body, meaning no impact on cargo space or payload. At the same time, based on the WLTP (Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure) cycle our mid-size vans have a range of up to 400 kilometers and large vans a range of up to 500 km.

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Compared to a range-extender system, there is no compromise in terms of performance

The fuel cell system is capable of providing enough power for continuous highway speed. When needed, peak power is provided by the battery positioned under the front seats. The battery is a carry-over component from our existing plug-in hybrid electric vehicle program.

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The battery covers power requirements for acceleration and other functions, as well as start-up and first mile

This provides better durability than a full-power system by allowing the fuel cell system to run at optimum operating conditions.

In addition, the battery enables regenerative braking - the greatest benefit of hybrid systems. The plug-in capability also allows for the battery to be recharged from an external power source providing pure battery-electric range of 50 km.