Marks & Spencer will pilot hydrogen fuel cells on its materials handling equipment, using on site hydrogen generation, from ITM Power.
M&S has signed a contract for a six week trial of several fuel cell vehicles as a direct substitute for part of the existing battery powered fleet at its 1.1 million sq ft distribution centre at ProLogis Park in Bradford.
ITM reckons the trial, which forms part of the M&S Plan A initiative, is the first of its kind in the UK.
Darrell Stein, director of IT and logistics for M&S, said: “We are excited to be trialling this solution with a company like ITM Power, and with a technology which has the potential to drive significant carbon reductions from our warehouse operations. If we’re to achieve our ambitious goal of becoming the world’s most sustainable major retailer then we must continue to innovate and push the boundaries in every part of our business.”
ITM believes the global materials handling market, valued at $20B, is a key early adoption market for hydrogen with fuel cells. ITM chief Graham Cooley said: “The involvement of companies such as M&S is essential to developing commercially viable hydrogen solutions for the materials handling industry.”