Hydrogen coalition launches EU-wide EV project
Hydrogen mobility innovators from across Europe have formed a new coalition to deploy 200 fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV); 125 extended-range electric vans and 29 Hydrogen Refuelling Stations (HRS) in 10 EU countries.
The Hydrogen Mobility Europe (H2ME) coalition will see hydrogen based vehicles and stations installed in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK by 2019.
The project has been co-funded with €32m from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU, making it the largest European project of its kind.
Dr Rachel Smith, executive director of ITM Power – which is responsible for UK activities under H2ME scheme – said: “The H2ME project is a fantastic opportunity to develop the refuelling infrastructure in the UK.
“The project is perfectly timed to coincide with the introduction of fuel cell cars in Europe, enabling evaluation of end-user experiences of hydrogen stations and FCEVs. The UK Consortia, led by ITM Power is delighted to participate in this project and to demystify the role of hydrogen, show the readiness of the stations and vehicles, and to enable the widespread and rapid adoption of clean emission transport.”
An original agreement for the project was put in place in July and has already seen the roll-out of the first commercial vehicles in France and Germany. The project will latch onto existing national plans for large-scale hydrogen refuelling infrastructure as Europe aims to remove emissions from transport.
Hydrogen-powered cars have already arrived at the shores of the UK. In August, Toyota introduced its first production-grade hydrogen-powered Mirai sedans, which were shipped to Bristol and Zeebrugge, going on sale €66,000. Commercial-use hydrogen vans have also been deployed in London since Spring 2014, thanks to office supplies and IT services firm Commercial Group.
Earlier this year, the UK Government implemented the first steps of a grant scheme supporting the rollout of a UK hydrogen fuel network that would see £11m invested in infrastructure.