Press release

Multi-million pound fund to get hydrogen cars moving

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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

The arrival of hydrogen cars on UK roads is a step closer today 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 today (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.

Notes to editors

  1. The UKH2Mobility project was established to evaluate the benefits of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) to the UK and to develop a roadmap for the introduction of fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure.
  2. There are currently 12 industry participants (below) in UKH2Mobility together with 3 UK government departments – the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Department for Transport and the Department for Energy and Climate Change – and Transport Scotland, Welsh Government and the Greater London Authority. The European Fuel Cells & Hydrogen Joint Undertaking is also a participant.
    • Air Liquide SA
    • Daimler AG
    • Honda
    • Hyundai Motor Company
    • Intelligent Energy Limited
    • ITM Power plc
    • Johnson Matthey plc
    • Morrisons
    • Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd
    • Sainsbury’s
    • The BOC Group Limited (part of the Linde Group)
    • Toyota Motor Corporation
  3. Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles share a large proportion of the electric motor and drive train technology with other electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles; it is the energy storage/conversion devices that are different. The fuel cell is an electrochemical device that can be refuelled quickly - it will continue to generate power so long as it is fed with hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles have a similar range to their internal combustion engine equivalents. They are highly efficient devices (50-60% compared to an average of around 20% for internal combustion engines) that produce no emissions or pollutants at the tail-pipe and much reduced overall well-to-wheel emissions when compared with today’s petrol and diesel engines.
  4. Hydrogen is a clean energy carrier. When used as fuel in fuel cell systems it does not produce any carbon emissions (carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, unburned hydrocarbons or particulates). Therefore, using hydrogen will contribute to the improvement of air quality and the reduction of CO2.