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Going Global: Australian hydrogen car company H2X Global reveals hydrogen-powered van alongside engineering partner KTM

The Hydrogen Professional Van prototype appears to be a precursor to the brand's 'Darling' van.

If hydrogen is losing the race against battery electric cars, no one told Australian firm H2X Global, which has been working on hydrogen fuel cell electric cars and commercial vehicles over the last few years.

While the 'Warrego' ute, a Ford Ranger-based FCEV test bed, has been the company's main focus, it's also been working on other models that could prove useful in the commercial space, including a van it's named the 'Darling', for the river.

In Germany this week, at the Body Engineering Days Conference, H2X Global revealed a concept called the Hydrogen Professional Van alongside its engineering partner KTM.

The concept version of the van should, it seem, lead to the Darling which the company says will come in three sizes, boast a range of more than 400km, and have a payload capacity of as much as 3.5 tonnes.

H2X's CEO Brendan Norman has previously said the work that has gone into its ute would later become part of the basis for its van, having flagged the end of next year for a release.
This means the Darling Van could come with a front-drive version making about 200kW if generally popular van layouts are going to be followed.

H2X Global revealed a concept called the Hydrogen Professional Van alongside its engineering partner KTM.

"This [Warrego ute] application will be applied in a more optimised form in the Darling Delivery Van and Taxi/MPV targeted for release by the end of 2024 to support the large number of cities in Europe which will be closed off from diesel and petrol vehicles from 2025."

H2X Global has previously announced that it will build its hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in Gippsland, Victoria, with compliance testing for the Warrego ute reportedly underway in Europe and planned for Australia.

H2X Global has previously announced that it will build its hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in Gippsland, Victoria.

Chris Reitz, who has held titles such as VW and Audi Head of Advanced Design, Nissan Head of Design Europe and Fiat Chrysler Group Design Director, is H2X's Chief Design Officer and a co-founder of the company.

Having worked on models like the Audi A4, Ferrari FF and Nissan Micra, Reitz is in charge of how H2X's vehicles look and feel, and has said there has been an "overwhelming response" since the Hydrogen Professional Van's reveal in Germany.

H2X’s CEO Brendan Norman has previously said the work that has gone into its ute would later become part of the basis for its van.

"H2X Global remains steadfast in its commitment to redefining sustainable transportation solutions, with a dedicated focus on hydrogen-powered vehicles tailored to professional drivers' unique needs," he said.

"The overwhelming response at Body Engineering Days underscores the industry's acknowledgement of H2X Global's pivotal role in pioneering hydrogen mobility solutions."

The concept version of the van should, it seem, lead to the Darling which the company says will come in three sizes.

On the KTM side of the partnership, Technical Project Manager for KTM Technologies Andy Schuhmacher said the Austrian technology and engineering company is "thrilled" to work with Australia's H2X.

"This partnership has allowed us to witness first-hand the innovative vision and dedication of H2X Global in pioneering hydrogen-powered solutions for the automotive industry.

The Darling Van could come with a front-drive version making about 200kW if generally popular van layouts are going to be followed.

"KTM recognizes the immense potential of hydrogen technology in creating environmentally friendly and ground-breaking vehicles."

KTM and H2X are also working together on an "exciting motorsport venture involving hydrogen" which could run similarly to Toyota's hydrogen combustion Corolla race car tested recently.

While the ‘Warrego’ ute, a Ford Ranger-based FCEV test bed, has been the company’s main focus, it’s also been working on other models.

KTM is no stranger to the motorsport world as the brand behind various successful racing bikes and lightweight race cars like the X-Bow.

Brendan Norman has called the partnership between the brands a "major milestone" in establishing H2X Global as a "global premium hydrogen vehicle manufacturer".

Chris Thompson
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Racing video games, car-spotting on road trips, and helping wash the family VL Calais Turbo as a kid were all early indicators that an interest in cars would stay present in...
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