£11 million of funding for hydrogen cars

toyota fcevThe arrival of hydrogen cars on UK roads is a step closer as the Business Minister Matthew Hancock announced up to £11 million of funding.

Government and industry will prepare the UK for the roll-out of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).

The £11 million investment will:

  • help establish an initial network of up to 15 hydrogen refuelling stations by the end of 2015
  • include £2 million of funding for public sector hydrogen vehicles

This is part of the UK government’s drive to become a global leader in ultra-low emission vehicles and follows news earlier this month (October 2014) that Toyota has chosen the UK as one of the first markets for its FCEV when it goes on sale next year.

It is just one of the ways that government plans to decarbonise road transport alongside battery electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids with £400 million of support available in the current Parliament and £500 million committed in the next.

Of the £11 million announced on 9 October 2014, £7.5 million will come from government and £3.5 million from industry:

  • £2 million of top-up funding to upgrade 6 to 8 existing hydrogen refuelling stations (already operational or under development in the UK) and take them from demonstrator projects to publically accessible sites
  • £3.5 million of funding to be matched by industry for 4 to 7 new hydrogen refuelling stations. This will include mobile stations as well as those on stand-alone sites and integrated into conventional petrol forecourts
  • £2 million of funding for public sector fleets to encourage deployment of around 40 hydrogen FCEVs in focused geographical clusters.

Speaking in Japan where he met executives at Honda, Nissan and Toyota, Mr Hancock said:

“Britain has become one of the best places in the world to build cars, with the value of those we export outstripping imports for the first time in a generation, but we want to go further.”

“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.”

“Government will work in true partnership with industry so the potential benefits are realised by businesses and consumers across the UK.”

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 EVs 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.”

The programme follows on from the work undertaken by the UKH2Mobility project – which brings together leading businesses from the automotive, energy, infrastructure and retail sectors with government – to provide a ‘roadmap’ for the introduction of fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure in the UK.

Establishing 15 hydrogen refuelling stations by the end of 2015 will represent a significant first step towards the initial national network of 65 identified by UKH2Mobility.

Read our Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle Event 2014 review and watch Robert Llewellyn’s video