Two leading British technology companies have agreed to work together on a unique project involving hydrogen-powered, emissions-free vehicles which could lead to the commercialisation of hydrogen-fuelled vehicles in the UK in future.

ITM Power, Europe’s largest electrolyser and fuel cell development company, and Roush Technologies, an automotive design, engineering and development group, have signed an agreement which could lead to carbon dioxide-free, hydrogen-fuelled commercial vehicles being marketed in the UK in a matter of months.

Roush will investigate the possibilities of adapting existing internal combustion-driven vehicles and research the development of new power units that utilise hydrogen fuel, while ITM will examine providing vehicle operators with the ability to generate their own hydrogen supplies.

A patented electrolyser is due to enter production in Sheffield later this year, capable of producing hydrogen from water, releasing only water vapour when heated, rather than carbon dioxide.

Jim Heathcote, Chief Executive of ITM Power, commented, “This is a significant co-operative agreement between two companies who are committed to bringing practical hydrogen power into the automotive market place within a dramatically reduced timeframe. While it initially involves the commercial vehicle sector, it will demonstrate the wider potential of hydrogen technology to help cut CO2 emissions and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.”

Andrew Williams, Executive Chairman at Roush Technologies, added, “Both our companies recognise bringing emission-free energy technologies forward and to market, requires an integrated approach.”