The UK government has announced a multi-million-dollar subsidy that seeks to boost the creation of hydrogen (H2) fuel infrastructure and uptake of H2-powered vehicles across the country.
The £23m ($28.3m) fund aims to accelerate the adoption of H2 vehicles and infrastructure roll out, with H2 fuel providers able to bid for funding in partnership with organisations that produce fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) to help build high-tech infrastructure.
Under the funding, the government announced that a competition will be launched this summer, inviting proposals from public organisations, businesses and H2 operators.
In the scheme, the Government will match the funding for successful bidders as part of its plans to cut carbon emissions, improve air quality and deliver economic opportunities for the UK.
Transport Minister John Hayes said that the UK Government was providing this support to “give interested parties the confidence to continue to invest in this new emerging technology to help us achieve our ambition for almost all new cars and vans to be zero emission by 2040.”
Major car manufacturer Toyota chose the UK as one of the first international markets for its Mirai H2 fuel cell car, with the company’s President and Managing Director highlighting, “We will continue to work with the Government, organisations and industry partners to help the UK realise the significant potential of H2 as a clean and sustainable source of power.”
ITM Power CEO, Dr. Graham Cooley, said, “This important new UK Government funding programme supporting the roll out of H2 vehicles is a welcome step and shows a commitment to tackling inner city air pollution. The increasing momentum generated by the introduction of Toyota, Honda and Hyundai FCEV’s into the UK is set to continue as a result of this significant infrastructure funding.”
Today’s announcement builds on the launch of the Industrial Strategy green paper in January which outlined plans to fund new high-value economic infrastructure and reaffirmed Government commitment to investing in energy innovation and to tackling the causes of climate change.
In July 2016, the UK Government announced added funding for ‘greener’ transport solutions with £30m ($39m) allocated for low emission buses and relevant infrastructure.
The 13 successful bidders taking part in the scheme will add a total of 326 buses to the country’s fleet and will install more than £7m ($9.1m) worth of infrastructure. These buses will utilise a variety of ‘green’ fuels including H2, electric, hybrid and biomethane.