France: GCK obtains the first series homologation for a coach retrofitted with hydrogen

Retrofit: GCK obtains the first series approval for a hydrogen-powered coach
GCK obtains the first series approval for a coach retrofitted with hydrogen

GCK Mobility (a GCK subsidiary) has announced that it has passed all the homologation tests carried out on the Iveco Crossway NF 80 retrofitted with hydrogen, following a long period of work with UTAC and CNRV. This is the first time that a vehicle has received road homologation of this type.

It is therefore a world first. For the occasion, Christophe Béchu, French Minister for Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion, travelled to Clermont-Ferrand last Friday. And he handed this precious homologation certificate to Philippe Jacques, Managing Director of GCK Mobility.

On 16 February, GCK announced a retrofit contract for 50 coaches (read our article) with the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region. That day, the group had indicated that homologation was only a matter of days away. In a post on LinkedIn, UTAC indicated that the tests had been passed at the end of last year. It also needed the green light from the CNRV (Centre National de Réception des Véhicules), which is also located at the Linas-Montlhéry motor-racing track in Essonne (south of Paris).

Towards series production: 100 vehicles already on order

The coach was retrofitted in the workshops of GCK Mobility at its Cournon site (Puy-de-Dôme). It is fitted with a fuel cell installed in the engine compartment, which supplies the batteries for the electric motor. In terms of performance, the vehicle has a range of 500 km, with a refuelling time of 15 to 20 minutes. The retrofitted Iveco Crossway NF 80 is authorised to circulate throughout France, but more importantly it can also be mass-produced by GCK Mobility.

This is a timely presentation of the homologation certificate. As a matter of fact, the group is launching its industrialisation phase at the start of the year. It has already signed contracts for 100 vehicles with several customers. This is a major step forward for the retrofit sector, which until now has been confined to demonstrators and prototypes. For GCK, the next step is the mass deployment of hydrogen, presented as “the only energy source capable of meeting the needs of heavy vehicles.”

You can read our latest article on retrofit here.

Do you want to learn more about GCK? Then our latest articles on the group should interest you. You can access all of our articles written about GCK here.

Article written by Laurent Meillaud and translated by Logan King 

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About the author

Laurent Meillaud

Laurent Meillaud

Freelance automotive journalist and consultant, author as well, focused on technologies and new trends for more than 30 years, convinced that hydrogen is one of the energies for the future.

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