The UK hydrogen (H2) industry is to take a significant step forward thanks to a multimillion pound government boost which will deliver the largest expansion of H2 refuelling infrastructure ever undertaken in the country.
A consortium managed by Element Energy, comprising ITM Power, Shell, Toyota, Honda and Hyundai, has won £8.8m of funding from the Department for Transport (DfT) to improve access to an expanded network of H2 refuelling stations and support the continued roll out of H2 fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) in the UK.
It will capitalise on the reliable mileage of established fleets and see vehicles being procured by emergency services such as the Metropolitan Police to support the growth of refuelling infrastructure for H2 vehicles up and down the country.
Out of the £8.8m total, ITM Power will receive £4.3m from the DfT to build four new H2 refuelling stations and to upgrade five existing H2 stations which will increase capacity to support a larger fleet of FCEVs. The project has further funding support from the European Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU).
Jesse Norman, Roads Minister, said, ““Decarbonising our roads is an essential part of meeting our climate targets. The innovative new technologies involved present great opportunities for our increasingly low carbon economy.”
“H2 has huge potential, especially for those making longer journeys and clocking up high mileage. That is what makes this project truly exciting. Not only is it demonstrating the technology in action, but it is also developing the refuelling infrastructure needed for the future.”
The project helps cement the UK’s place as a world-leader in adopting H2 technology, using not only British expertise through ITM Power, but also securing further investment from multi-national companies such as Shell, Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai.
It also means that H2 cars will be able to travel further around Britain than ever before, with new refuelling stations in Southwark, Isleworth, Birmingham and Derby paving the way for future expansion.
The £8.8 million grant will be matched by a further £13.1m investment including support from the companies and other sources. The project will involve the procurement of new vehicles, construction of new stations and upgrades to existing stations.
Toyota GB’s President and Managing Director, Paul Van der Burgh, added, “This is a result of close collaboration across sectors and a significant vote of confidence from the government in the benefits of fuel cell technology. The programme is welcome support in our efforts to popularise FCEVs and help realise a H2-based society.”
Oliver Bishop, General Manager of Hydrogen at Shell, commented, “H2 has the potential to become a significant part of the transport mix in a low-carbon future. Central to this success is collaboration between the government, energy companies, OEMs and technology experts to create the infrastructure to make access to new fuel options viable. At Shell, we are delighted to be part of the latest infrastructure funding effort, and to help drive forward the UK’s H2 refuelling network.”
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