Hydrogen cars to be promoted to businesses and the public at roadshows across the UK
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Hydrogen cars are to be promoted to businesses, influencers and the public at a series of roadshows being held around the country this year by fleet management and leasing specialist, Arval. They will take place at five locations, starting with Swindon on April 12, then Oxford on May 17, followed by Leeds on June 28, Birmingham on October 16, and London in November.
Arval has gathered industry-leading expertise in hydrogen cars thanks to its involvement in the Hydrogen Hub, which aims to show the viability of fuel cell technology for a range of domestic, commercial and transport applications in the Swindon area, where the company is based.
As chair of the Hydrogen Hub’s Car Working Group, it is central to a range of projects designed to look at the practicalities of operating hydrogen vehicles in real world conditions. Currently, it has seven hydrogen cars in use with a range of fleet customers.
Paul Marchment, SME Development Manager at Arval, who oversees the company’s hydrogen activities, said: “Our view is that, while in its infancy, hydrogen has the potential to become an important source of automotive power in the coming decades.
“Thanks to the trials we have been undertaking, we now have considerable expertise in running hydrogen cars and it is our aim to share this knowledge during these roadshows.
“At each location, we want to reach business people, influencers such as local politicians, and the general public, to show them hydrogen vehicles from manufacturers such as Toyota and Hyundai, and explain how the technology works.
“Our experience of these cars has been almost wholly positive. What we need to do is increase production of vehicles in order to bring down their purchase price, which is still very high, and increase the refuelling infrastructure, which currently runs to only 16 outlets nationwide.
“These issues are not easily resolved but, with the right backing from government, manufacturers, businesses and the public, we believe that we can help create a groundswell of enthusiasm for hydrogen.”
The roadshows will be divided into two halves. In the morning, around 150 delegates will be shown presentations by hydrogen experts, fleet operators using the vehicles and car manufacturers including Hyundai, Toyota and Riversimple. Afternoon sessions will be opened to anyone and are based around the vehicles themselves.
Paul said: “The locations chosen have plenty of footfall, where we are hoping to engage with as many members of the public as possible about the technology. The vast majority of people haven’t seen a hydrogen car, so there is a lot of curiosity.
“We held a trial roadshow in 2018 and the feedback was tremendous for both the morning and afternoon sessions. We find that, once they are familiar with the hydrogen proposition, people do tend to become a little evangelical.”
Backing for the roadshows has been provided by Arval’s parent company, BNP Paribas, who are making the move as part of their commitment to environmental projects.
Paul said: “It is great to be able to hold these events and spread the word about hydrogen, so we are very grateful for the funding we are able to access at a corporate level.”
Clare Jackson, Hydrogen Hub Manager said:
“We are very excited to offer the opportunity to businesses, local authorities and the public to learn about hydrogen vehicles and test the technology. Having the ability to have zero-carbon tailpipe emissions while not requiring the consumer to change their behaviour in any way, we hope the events will raise awareness and demonstrate the benefits of the technology.
“We need to grow the market for hydrogen and fuel cell industry and ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of this development as it can play a very important role in decarbonisation of the UK Economy.
Further information about the exact dates and locations of the roadshows, and details on registering as a delegate, can be found by visiting our Eventbrite page
About Arval UK
Arval UK, part of the Arval Group, is a leading provider of vehicle funding, fleet management and mobility solutions. Owned by BNP Paribas, with substantial buying power, Arval funds more than 165,000 cars and vans in the UK. Focused on customer experience, Arval UK has specialist teams dedicated to supporting broad range of customers including individuals and small businesses with a single vehicle, through to FTSE 100 companies with thousands. Arval provides a comprehensive range of products and services including vehicle funding, vehicle maintenance, fuel management, accident management, breakdown recovery, short and medium term hire, insured lease vehicles, full outsourcing salary exchange and consultancy services. arval.co.uk
Founded in 1989 and fully owned by BNP Paribas, Arval specialises in full service vehicle leasing. Arval offers its customers – professionals, SMEs and large international corporates – tailored solutions that optimise their employee’s mobility and outsource the risks associated with fleet management. Expert advice and service quality, which are at the foundations of Arval’s customer promise, are delivered in 29 countries by over 6,500 employees. Arval’s total leased fleet adds up to 1,103,835 vehicles throughout the world (December 2017). Within BNP Paribas, Arval belongs to the Retail Banking core activity. www.arval.com
About BNP Paribas:
In the UK, the BNP Paribas Group is formed of 10 businesses and employs more than 9,000 people across 21 core locations. These businesses include Corporate & Institutional Banking, Exane BNP Paribas, Leasing Solutions, Arval, Real Estate (including Strutt & Parker acquired in September 2017), Asset Management, Cardif Pinnacle, Commercial Finance, Personal Finance and Vauxhall Finance. Around half of its employees are in Corporate & Institutional Banking, based in London, while the others are based in various offices across the country, including Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow, and Manchester. BNP Paribas employs more than 1,000 people in the West Midlands. www.bnpparibas.co.uk
About Hydrogen Hub:
The Hydrogen Hub is an industry-led community of stakeholders from across the hydrogen and fuel cell supply chain, government, local authorities, businesses, current and potential users. The Hydrogen Hub launched in Swindon and Wiltshire in January 2016 and has since driven over £1.5 million of external investment in hydrogen and fuel cell projects in the region with over 50 different organisations participating in working groups and projects. The Executive Members provide strategic direction, set Hydrogen Hub priorities and take a leadership role in the development of projects in the Local Hydrogen Hubs. They also make up the members of the National Hydrogen Hub which work with the Government to shape energy and transportation policy in the UK. www.hydrogenhub.org
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