UK to get Hydrogen Fuel Cell Refuelling Infrastructure by 2015
Named UK H2Mobility, the consortium comprises of three government departments, partnered with utility, gas and infrastructure companies and six vehicle manufacturers. Its role will be to evaluate the environmental benefits of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCEVs) by the end of 2012, with aims to create an action plan for deploying refuelling stations in the following years.
Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are powered by an electrical motor, but generate their own electricity while driving instead of requiring a battery unit. As a result, they offer refuelling times similar to a conventional car, but with water vapour as the only tailpipe emission. Several manufacturers are already undertaking trials globally, with the first production models due for a sales launch in 2015.
Speaking at the launch in London today, business minister Mark Prisk said: ‘Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles are increasingly being recognised as one of the viable options as we move to a lower carbon motoring future. They are highly efficient, can be fuelled in minutes, travel an equivalent range to a conventional combustion engine, and have zero tailpipe emissions.
‘The UK has a number of world-class companies that are developing exciting technologies in both the hydrogen energy and automotive value chains and it is therefore vitally important that we identify what is required to make these cars a realistic proposition for UK consumers.
‘UKH2Mobility will bring together industry expertise to establish the UK as a serious global player in the manufacture and use of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles and the supporting infrastructure.’
Plans to roll out hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have also been welcomed by the SMMT, with Paul Everitt, chief executive commenting: 'UK H2Mobility is an exciting initiative that will accelerate the development and introduction of hydrogen-fuelled vehicles in UK. It is yet another signal of the UK’s commitment to create a strong ultra-low carbon vehicle market and attract major international investment in R&D and product development to secure the long-term success of automotive manufacturing.'
Industry signatory parties to the Memorandum of Understanding are:
Air Liquide Hydrogen Energy, SA
Air Products PLC
Hyundai Motor Company
Intelligent Energy Limited
ITM Power PLC
Johnson Matthey PLC
Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Limited
Scottish and Southern Energy plc
Tata Motors European Technical Centre plc
The BOC Group Limited
Toyota Motor Corporation