Government invests £11m in hydrogen fuel infrastructure
The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) has announced an £11m investment as part of an ongoing effort to expand the range of low-emission vehicles available in the UK.
The investment will go towards the development of a hydrogen fuel infrastructure and is just one of the ways that Government plans to decarbonise road transport, along with battery electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids.
With £400m of support readily available and £500m to be invested between 2015 and 2020, the UK is well on the way to becoming a global leader in ultra-low emission transport.
Joint-funded by Government and industry, the project will allocate the reserves as follows:
- £7 million to install and run up to seven new customer-facing hydrogen refuelling stations.
- £2 million to upgrade existing hydrogen refuelling stations.
- £2 million towards the acquisition of around 40 hydrogen-fuelled vehicles for the public sector.
Business Minister Matthew Hancock MP made the announcement in Japan, where he met executives at Honda, Nissan and Toyota. "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," said Hancock.
"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."
The Society of Motoring Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) welcomed the announcement as a 'major first step in making the UK automotive industry a leader in hydrogen technology'.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: "Investment in hydrogen fuel infrastructure in the UK is an important step for the automotive industry. As consumer interest in low emission vehicles increases, the industry is diversifying the range of technologies available with hydrogen-fuelled vehicles joining pure electric, hybrid, alternatively and conventionally-powered vehicles."
Earlier this year, Honda launched its own water brand to demonstrate the purity of emissions released from its FCX car range, which utilises hydrogen fuel technology.