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May 1, 2018 12:45 PM, EDT

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

Scott McIntyre/Bloomberg News

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

FedEx ranks No. 2 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest North American for-hire carriers.

The rollout 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.

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“This is one way we’re working to revolutionize transportation,” Chief Sustainability Officer Mitch Jackson said in a statement May 1.

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 Workhorse Group Inc., an Ohio company, using a fuel cell from Plug Power Inc. The van will refuel at a station in Latham, N.Y., where Plug is based. The company rose 0.6% to $1.84 a share at 10:26 a.m. in New York.

Another fuel cell vehicle supplier, Ballard Power Systems Inc., on May 1 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% to $3.28 at 10:27 a.m., after earlier rising as much as 8.1%.