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CHFCA helps brings zero-emission hydrogen vehicles to Modo’s fleet

Mar, 19 2020

The  are abundant—it’s convenient, affordable, and has recently become even more sustainable. The B.C.-based co-op has not only helped fill some of the gaps left behind by car2go’s departure, but the member-owned co-operative has also been busy building an eco-friendly fleet.

Modo has demonstrated its commitment to sustainability by partnering with the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (CHFCA). With assistance from the CHFCA and Hyundai Auto Canada, Modo has welcomed two  (FCEVs) to its fleet, making it the first carshare in North America to offer a hydrogen option to members. These zero-emission cars are a step in the right direction when it comes to combatting climate change.

Opting to share a vehicle is already a more sustainable mode of transportation compared to private car ownership, with Modo’s round-trip service proven to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 50 percent. But add to that zero-emission vehicles like the NEXO and the benefit is even greater. This sleek hydrogen fuel cell vehicle emits only water vapour, while not compromising style, comfort, or performance. The NEXO even purifies the air as members drive—so you can feel even better about using a shared vehicle when your bike or the bus just won’t do.

“Sustainability and the environment are high on Modo’s list of strategic priorities,” says Kathrin Kilburn, marketing and communications manager at Modo. “We see our purpose as creating healthier, more livable communities.”

Modo’s 23-year commitment to providing an affordable and convenient alternative to private vehicle ownership has paid off, with roughly one-third of its members shedding their own car since joining. Independent research concludes that for every Modo vehicle added to a community, nine to 13 personal cars are removed from the road.


“Currently one in five vehicles in Modo’s fleet is hybrid, electric or hydrogen,” says Kilburn. “But vehicles are only part of the solution. We are collaborating with our municipal partners to address much needed EV charging infrastructure, and with the CHFCA, which is leading the way on hydrogen refueling stations.”

The association focuses on promoting the adoption of innovative hydrogen and fuel cell technologies and advocating for more hydrogen refuelling infrastructure to support FCEV roll-out. Its work has already led to the opening of Canada’s first two public hydrogen refueling stations in British Columbia and four more on the horizon.

“The CHFCA’s ambition is to pave the way for a clean, low-carbon-intensity hydrogen production facility here in the Lower Mainland,” says Mark Kirby, president and chief executive officer at the CHFCA. “In addition to supplying the retail stations, it will provide hydrogen to decarbonize our residential and commercial heating systems, our local industries as well as supplying fuel for clean hydrogen buses, commuter trains, trucks, ferries, and even aviation.”

There’s growing awareness of conventional electric vehicles among consumers, yet surprisingly, little has been shared about their innovative hydrogen counterparts. Like the fact that hydrogen is the most abundant element in our universe, and the simplest element—with only one proton and one electron—hydrogen has no harmful carbon atoms and offers two to three times more energy than any fuel in use today. Add to that the fact that hydrogen’s unique characteristics make it one of the safest energy sources when compared to flammable fuels such as gasoline, diesel, or natural gas—the potential uses for this fuel source seems limitless.

But understandably, Modo’s Kilburn acknowledges that new technologies often come with a certain amount of apprehension and notes that her team is helping mitigate this by ramping up member education and awareness.  “When it comes to hydrogen fuel cell vehicle technology, I think there’s a misconception that it’s complicated,” says Kilburn. “Which is why we’ve put considerable effort into member education around the new technology, how it works, what to expect, and how to refuel.”

In addition to being surprisingly easy to operate, the vehicles are also a dream to drive. Modo members who’ve booked the NEXO are excited to make the switch from gas combustion engines, and have only positive feedback to share.

Long-time member William Azaroff had this to say:

“The hydrogen-powered NEXO left me feeling like I was driving in the future. It is so quiet and smooth, totally comfortable, and has every amenity I can think of, including a convenient self-parking feature. It’s now my new favourite Modo and book it first where I can.”

Booking this futuristic vehicle with Modo is as low as $6 per hour, including fuel, insurance, and loads of free parking—only $2 per hour more than their regular vehicles.

Spending the extra toonie is worth it—you will find peace of mind knowing that you are helping curb the impending climate crisis and you’ll look cool while doing it.

Modo members who have not yet booked the NEXO will get $30 off their NEXO booking before May 31, 2020, compliments of the CHFCA.

If you’re not already a Modo member,  to join today with the promo code NEXO50 for $50 in free drive time on any one of Modo’s 700 plus vehicles.

To learn more about clean energy visit the . For updates, follow Modo on , and .

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