Behold the zero-emission RV concept with hydrogen fuel cell technology

The idea for a modern and advanced adventure camper suggests a hydrogen-powered RV that operates with reduced noise and emissions.
Can Emir
First Hydrogen's Gen 2 LCV concept RV
First Hydrogen's Gen 2 LCV concept RV

First Hydrogen 

Canadian and British-based company First Hydrogen has unveiled a new concept for a zero-emission recreational vehicle (RV) that uses fuel cell technology. Developed in partnership with German engineering services provider EDAG Group, the RV concept illustrates how First Hydrogen explores how fuel cell electric technology could be applied to larger vehicles.

One of the primary benefits of using fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) for RVs is their ability to cover larger ranges and manage heavier payloads than equivalent battery electric vehicles (BEVs).

RVs often travel long distances, often into wilderness areas far from refueling or charging infrastructure. Therefore, the long-range capability is especially appealing, and refueling an FCEV takes mere minutes, approximately the same amount of time as refueling a petrol or diesel vehicle.

In contrast, recharging electric vehicles can take hours, restricting the freedom that van life demands. FCEVs are also well-suited for running auxiliary loads such as cookers and water boilers, often required in recreational vehicles.

Using a fuel cell powertrain would positively affect the environment by reducing harmful emissions and noise compared to a traditional ICE. Additionally, an FCEV could travel longer distances, carry heavier payloads, and refuel in a matter of minutes, much like a gas or diesel vehicle.

First Hydrogen has not disclosed the estimated range for its Gen 2 vehicle, but the first-generation van is designed to cover between 249 and 373 miles (400 and 600 km) on a single refueling, which takes only five minutes. 

First Hydrogen recently unveiled images of its Gen 2 LCV concept, which features off-road lighting, a front winch, and what appears to be a solar panel on the roof. Although no roof rack is visible in the images, the spacious interior could accommodate large gear such as a kayak, and the vehicle could be quickly converted into a comfortable camping site.

RV would provide ample living space

First Hydrogen has indicated that the RV would provide ample living space and good ground clearance and may consider an all-wheel-drive electric motor layout for the Gen 2 vehicle lineup, suggesting an off-road-capable camper van is under consideration.

First Hydrogen is involved in commercial vehicle trials with its Generation I fuel cell LCV in collaboration with the UK Aggregated Hydrogen Freight Consortium (AHFC) and fleet management company Rivus. The company has also revealed its Generation II LCV concept and is developing concepts for vehicles with a winch or towing capability with trailers or cargo boxes. 

Steve Gill, CEO of Automotive for First Hydrogen, stated that the company demonstrates the potential fuel cell technology in the LCV class. Still, the company is exploring how the technology can benefit other sectors, including leisure vehicles. Bernat Costa, Design Director at EDAG Spain, stated that the design for the RV shares similar principles with the Generation II series, with a clean, modern look that prioritizes function and acknowledges the van's green fuel technology.

The recreational vehicle market is growing, with the North American market valued at $56.29 billion in 2022 and anticipated to reach $107.6 billion by 2032. Similarly, the European leisure market is growing, with record sales of 260,000 new vehicles in 2021 and high demand in 2022 despite issues in the global supply chain.