Hydrogen fuel cell motoring for the masses moved a step closer yesterday, with the announcement of an initiative to evaluate what Britain needs to make that vision a reality.
Called UKH2Mobility, it will look at the potential for hydrogen to become a fuel for Ultra Low Carbon Vehicles. Then it will develop an action plan, with customers able to buy hydrogen powered vehicles in two or three years.
UKH2Mobility is backed by car manufacturers such as Hyundai, Mercedes, Nissan, Toyota and Vauxhall. This is on top of support from three government departments, plus utility, gas and infrastructure companies.
All of the 13 companies involved have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to agree to share their knowledge and expertise.
The first thing the group will need to do is to look into how much investment will be needed to build a refuelling network, which should in turn make fuel cell cars appealing to buyers.
With the economy continuing to flag, this project will also look at how hydrogen powered cars can create new jobs and investment.
Speaking at the launch of UKH2Mobility, Business Minister Mark Prisk said:"The UK is proving itself to be a key early market for ultra-low emission vehicles with growing numbers of electric and plug-in hybrids appearing on our roads. The Government is supporting this market by investing £400million to support the development, demonstration and deployment of these vehicles.
UKH2Mobility will deliver its report on the potential of hydrogen as a transport fuel by the end of this year. If positive, an action plan will be produced, which should detail the steps needed for the UK to be one of the first markets to offer Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles.