The plans, which are part of a multi-million-pound government-funded program to help support UK businesses explore the technology, will speed up the testing and ultimately bring hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to market sooner than if the manufacturer was to develop them on their own.
Known as Project Zeus, JLR will be working with companies including Delta Motorsport, Marelli Automotive Systems and UKBIC to develop a range of zero-emission vehicles without any of the drawbacks of regular EVs – such as long charging times or range anxiety. The £73.5m government investment is designed not only to explore the technology and safeguards, but also researching and developing recyclable batteries and state-of-the-art motors for electric taxis, cars and vans.
Business Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “Whether it’s researching future battery design or creating a lightweight version of the Ford Transit, companies in every part of the United Kingdom are leading the world in advanced automotive technology.
“Not only will this funding ensure automotive companies can play their part in keeping us on the path to net zero emissions by 2050, it will also support thousands of jobs and be a welcome step towards the industry’s economic recovery.”
Last week, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak was urged to consider the future of hydrogen power in the UK by businesses and MPs in an open letter from campaign group Hydrogen Strategy Now.
The government has already announced plans to increase the number of electric car charging points across the country as part of the Rapid Charging fund which includes a £500 million investment into the EV charging infrastructure.