Police cars in London will be joining taxi firm Green Tomato Cars and vehicle rental company Europcar in buying 200 hydrogen-powered cars, thanks to a multi-million-pound government boost.
With the government planning to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2040, the department for transport has pledged £8.8m to be spent to improve access to hydrogen refuelling stations across the country and to increase the number of hydrogen cars on our roads from this summer.
The £8.8m grant will be matched by a further £13.1m investment from the companies involved and other sources. The project will involve the procurement of new vehicles, construction of new stations and upgrades to existing stations.
New refuelling stations are also planned for Southwark, Isleworth, Birmingham and Derby, paving the way for future expansion.
‘Decarbonising our roads is an essential part of meeting our climate targets. The innovative new technologies involved present great opportunities for our increasingly low carbon economy,’ said roads minister, Jesse Norman.
Hydrogen has huge potential, especially for those making longer journeys and clocking up high mileage. That is what makes this project truly exciting. Not only is it demonstrating the technology in action, but it is also developing the refuelling infrastructure needed for the future.’
The winning project is run by a consortium managed by Element Energy and includes expertise from ITM Power, Shell, Toyota, Honda and Hyundai.
Oliver Bishop, General Manager of Hydrogen at Shell, said: ‘Hydrogen has the potential to become a significant part of the transport mix in a low-carbon future. Central to this success is collaboration between the government, energy companies, OEMs and technology experts to create the infrastructure to make access to new fuel options viable. At Shell, we are delighted to be part of the latest infrastructure funding effort and to help drive forward the UK’s hydrogen refuelling network.
Dr Graham Cooley, CEO, ITM Power plc said: ‘This project will deliver the largest expansion of the hydrogen refuelling infrastructure ever undertaken in the UK and is a very significant step forward for the UK hydrogen industry. The project will fund ITM Power to build 4 new hydrogen refuelling stations and upgrade 5 further stations.
Our partnership with Shell, Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai constitutes a highly coordinated roll-out of hydrogen vehicles and refuelling infrastructure.’
The Met Police trialled seven hydrogen-powered mopeds in September as part of their goal of having 550 zero or ultra-low emission vehicles by 2020.
Last week, Environment Journal interviewed GRT Group CEO, Luca Del Fabbro about the potential of hydrogen-powered cars and energy storage.