Fleet Assist gets garage network ‘hydrogen-ready’ for early adopter fleets
Fleet Assist is working to ensure its garage network will be ‘hydrogen-ready’ for when hydrogen becomes the “next big thing alongside EVs”.
While it’s early days yet, Fleet Assist expects the interest in hydrogen to continue to increase and complement the growth of EVs. This follows the recent launch of the new Toyota Mirai, while Land Rover has said it’s working on a prototype hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) based on the new Defender and both Renault and Stellantis are developing hydrogen vans. BMW has also started to test prototypes of its i Hydrogen Next SUV in real-world conditions.
To support future uptake, Fleet Assist already has nine garages capable of working on hydrogen across its 5,100-strong Fleet Assist network and said it has recently received its first call from a company car driver looking to service their hydrogen car.
Chris Crow, Fleet Assist’s head of network, said: “Following work to get our garage network ‘EV-ready’ over the past few years, our next challenge is staying one step ahead of those fleets that wish to operate hydrogen vehicles. We are already working closely with Toyota and Hyundai who currently offer the only two cars available in the UK to service our customers’ cars.
“In the short term we expect our network to grow as further garages come on board to support the new models. Longer term we believe the independent and fast fit garage network will be able to accommodate these needs as more hydrogen vehicles are being launched.”
Fleet Assist has also been talking to the IMI about a formal qualification for garages servicing hydrogen cars as currently there is no stand-alone formal course to attend or qualification on offer. Fleet Assist envisages an equivalent of the IMI Level 2 qualification in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Operation and Maintenance which technicians must have to qualify to join the Fleet Assist EV network.
“It’s early days but we have started talking to the IMI about training as we believe hydrogen will become the next big thing alongside EVs as fleets continue to reduce their vehicle environmental footprint,” added Crow.