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Aussie FCEV manufacturer complies ‘Ranger’ ute

H2X Global's Warrego is an AWD hydrogen-electric model with big plans Down Under

7 Oct 2022

IN A development that would have raised plenty of eyebrows among global car-makers, an Australian-based company called H2X Global has transplanted their own hybrid hydrogen fuel cell EV (FCEV) powertrain into a Ford Ranger ute that is scheduled to go into production soon at a Gippsland, Victoria plant.


The Warrego test mule is the first of H2X’s Warrego AWD utes that is now undergoing final validation and verification testing procedures in the Netherlands as it heads towards gaining European and global certification. Australian certification testing and right hand drive production will commence soon according to an H2X press release.


The Warrego has a 500km driving range and a quick refuelling time of between three and five minutes. H2X will back it with a four-year/100,000km warranty and service network available in all Australian states.


Three models will be available, Warrego 66, 90 and 90XR with 200kW, 220kW and 220kW motors respectively. The 66 is available in 2WD or AWD while the others are AWD only. The 66 and 90 have a driving range of 500km while the 90XR has a claimed 750km range.


Payload for all three is 1000kg and all have a 2500kg towing capacity.


The company has to date placed an emphasis on ‘back to base’ logistics vehicle fleets such as buses, delivery vans, trucks and taxis. H2X Global leverages on Hydrogen Fuel Cell technology to deliver zero emission vehicles with faster refuelling and longer driving range than BEVs.


At the moment, H2X has the Warrego ute, Darling van and Darling taxi in its vehicle line-up with a light/heavy rigid truck and a large bus under development. A range of fuel cell generators is available.


H2X Global CEO and founder, Brendan Norman, said the completion of the first Warrego pick-up was a successful milestone for the company. The Warrego follows the successful production and launch of a range of hydrogen fuel cell emergency power and industrial use generators already in workplace use.


“It is extremely satisfying that our team now have the Warrego running through the final stages of its engineering, safety and on-road verification program and production readiness,” said Mr Norman.


“We have indeed had some frustrating delays over the past nine months; however, we are now well on track with our rollout plans. 


“Supply chain issues, which have negatively impacted manufacturing companies worldwide, put us about nine months behind schedule; however, our production and engineering teams have done an amazing job to overcome these problems, and we are now back on schedule.”


The Warrego is H2X Global’s first application to demonstrate the company’s capabilities platform that will be used as a basis for the upcoming all-new H2X Darling Delivery Van in a couple of years. This will be the first of the fully developed and optimised vehicles from H2X.


After the vehicle is ready to go through the process of global homologation, optimisation and improvement efforts are taking place to enhance its performance.


Despite one tonne utilities relative unpopularity in Europe, Mr Norman said the focus for the first Warrego had been for a European release for several reasons but mainly due to the availability of hydrogen at the customer level in several cities where government support is present to develop the hydrogen economy.


The Warrego Pickup features a full version of the H2X powertrain developed for light vehicles featuring a Supercapacitor-based Hybrid system operating in AWD mode.


“The Warrego is essentially a demonstration vehicle which we can offer to several customers to accelerate the availability of an AWD light commercial vehicle to customers, using a state-of-the-art Hybrid Hydrogen Fuel Cell System,” said Mr Norman.


“This application will be applied in a more optimised form in the Darling Delivery Van and Taxi/MPV targeted for release to support the large number of European cities which will be closed off from diesel and petrol vehicles from 2025.”


The first release Warrego features a 60kW fuel cell connected to a hybrid battery/supercapacitor electric drive system. This is connected to a 700-bar Type 4 hydrogen tank system constructed of an advanced polymer and carbon-fibre base, which offers exceptional safety levels with very long standards of operation.


While this will allow the vehicle to work at the lower 350bar compression, it can run at much higher compression rates which will double the range per tank.


The Warrego will be available to customers over the coming months and in line with the availability of hydrogen. The vehicle will be produced in Europe and Australia at the H2X facility in Sale, Victoria.


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