THE world’s “first Hydrogen-powered meals-on-wheels vehicle” has been undergoing trials with Monmouthshire Council.

Converted by South Wales buiseness Vantastec, which already produces fully-electric vehicles for meals-on-wheels services nationwide, the 'gamechanger' van has been given a full run out by the Monmouthshire Meals service, which delivers 300 meals a day to residents.

And the Ystrad Mynach-based firm, which has worked alongside Swedish fuel cell experts PowerCell, claims it will be a "huge boost" for businesses wanting to be net zero.

The vehicle combines Nissan’s electric Townstar with the firm’s patent-pending hydrogen power unit, described as “an exciting new product for the light commercial vehicle industry".

Managing director Gareth Edwards said: “This product is a gamechanger for helping businesses reach net zero. We’ve been working hard behind the scenes for over a year to make this happen, so it’s really fulfilling to see it come to life.

“Sustainability has always been at the forefront of what we do. We’re very fortunate to work with people who share our vision and can enable us to make our visions a reality.

“We’d like to thank PowerCell, Monmouthshire Council, and Cardiff Capital Region for helping this project succeed. Without them, it wouldn’t have been possible.”

Housed in an electric Nissan Townstar van, the vehicle uses Vantastec’s hydrogen power unit to provide power to equipment to defrost and regenerate meals to an edible temperature.

The unit gives specialist vehicle operators “a new, zero-emission independent power source” for onboard equipment such as microwaves, water heaters and regeneration ovens, as well as charging the battery on the go.

Powercell’s Stuart Sharp said: "We are proud to be a part of this project, which is bringing hydrogen applications closer to the community.

"This demonstrates the limitless possibilities and demand for hydrogen fuel cells in our lives as we transition to a greener future...

“Both companies have contributed their expertise and dedication to develop the hydrogen fuel cell power generation system installed on the roof of the vehicle. This collaboration showcases that true net-zero fleet operation is achievable today."

Vantastec believes hydrogen is more practical for organisations looking to decarbonise their fleets. Users can refill the power unit at a hydrogen fuelling station in under 10 minutes.