As many as 15 hydrogen refuelling stations could be upgraded or built in the UK by the end of next year after the government and automotive industry announced up to £11 million funding.
Six to eight hydrogen refuelling stations will be upgraded to take them from demonstrator projects to publicly accessible sites using £2 million of government money, business minister Matthew Hancock announced yesterday.
A further £3.5 million will be matched by industry for four to seven new refuelling stations. This will include mobile stations as well as those on stand-alone sites and facilities on petrol station forecourts.
The government also committed £2 million to fund around 40 hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles in public sector fleets.
“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,” Hancock said.
The programme follows on from the work undertaken by the UKH2Mobility project, a partnership between representatives from the automotive, energy, infrastructure and retail sectors and government bodies, including the departments for business, transport and energy and climate change.
Diana Raine, European business manager of hydrogen energy systems at Air Products, which supplies refuelling infrastructure, welcomed the announcement and said: “Hydrogen-powered vehicle technology is proven and ready to be used now.
“It is not a fuel of the future, it is a fuel for today and with no emissions at the point of use, it has the potential to decarbonise the transport sector with little sacrifice to transport infrastructure.”