The arrival of hydrogen cars on UK roads moved a step closer today as Business Minister Matthew Hancock has announced up to £11 million of new funding.
This is part of the government’s drive to become a global leader in ultra-low emission vehicles and follows news earlier this month that Toyota has chosen the UK as one of the first markets for its FCEV (fuel cell electric vehicles) when it goes on sale next year.
Speaking in Japan where he met executives at Honda, Nissan and Toyota, Mr. Hancock said: “Hydrogen cars present us with a huge economic opportunity and can bolster our internationally renowned automotive industry. We want to make the UK one of the best places in the world to design, manufacture and sell ultra-low emission vehicles.”
By 2040 all new cars and vans will be ultra-low emission vehicles and this could be delivered by a variety of technologies, including plug-in hybrids, pure electric vehicles and hydrogen.
Of the £11million investment, £7.5 million will come from government and £3.5 million from the motor industry. This funding will help establish an initial network of up to 15 hydrogen refuelling stations by the end of 2015 and is just one of the ways the government plans to decarbonise road transport, alongside battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, with £400 million of support available in the current parliament.
Establishing 15 hydrogen-refuelling stations by the end of 2015 will represent a significant first step towards the initial national network of 65 stations scoped out by the UKH2Mobility project run by government and industry.
Transport minister Baroness Kramer said: “By 2040 all new cars and vans will be ultra-low emission vehicles and this could be delivered by a variety of technologies, including plug-in hybrids, pure electric vehicles and hydrogen. We want to ensure that support is there for all of these vehicles and that the UK continues to lead the pack in providing the right infrastructure to drive the switch to electric.”