A driver for an independent contractor to FedEx Corp. unloads packages from a truck to be delivered (Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)

FedEx Rolls Out First Hydrogen-Fueled Delivery Van in New York

(Bloomberg) -- FedEx Corp. has begun delivering packages in upstate New York with its first hydrogen-powered van in North America.

The roll-out is a milestone for hydrogen vehicles, which are emission-free but have struggled to attain the success of hybrids and plug-in electric vehicles. That’s largely because there isn’t a network of hydrogen filling stations. Now the technology is catching on in forklifts, buses and other vehicles that return to a central fueling depot.

“This is one way we’re working to revolutionize transportation,” Mitch Jackson, chief sustainability officer at FedEx, said in a statement Tuesday.

FedEx’s van is powered by a fuel cell that converts hydrogen into electricity, running a virtually silent engine that emits only a trickle of water as a byproduct. It was built by an Ohio company called Workhorse Group Inc., using a fuel cell from Plug Power Inc. The van will refuel at a station in Latham, New York, where Plug is based. The company rose 0.6 percent to $1.84 a share at 10:26 a.m. in New York.

Another fuel cell vehicle supplier, Ballard Power Systems Inc., on Tuesday said it secured agreements to supply 40 fuel cell modules to power Van Hool NV buses in Germany. Burnaby, British Columbia-based Ballard rose 2.2 percent to $3.28 at 10:27 a.m., after earlier rising as much as 8.1 percent.

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