Over one and a half million hydrogen powered vehicles could be on UK roads by 2030 according to a joint Government-industry study published.

The forecast is made in an interim report commissioned to evaluate the benefits of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and ensure the UK is well positioned for their commercial roll-out.

Produced by the UKH2Mobility project - which brings together leading businesses from the automotive, energy, infrastructure and retail sectors with Government - the study provides a ‘roadmap’ for the introduction of vehicles and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure in the UK.

Business Minister Michael Fallon said, “The transition to ultra-low emission vehicles has already begun. It has the potential to create really significant new economic opportunities for the UK, to diversify national energy supply and to decarbonise road transport. The findings released today demonstrate that hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles can make a significant contribution to this. “

“Successful commercialisation of the technology will require Government to work in true partnership with industry. Our international rivals are looking to steal a march in this area and so UKH2Mobility recognises the importance of prompt action to ensure the potential benefits are realised by businesses and consumers in the UK.”

“We already have a strong automotive sector and must ensure it stays that way. Opportunities for the UK to take a leading role in low carbon technologies will be looked at as part of our auto industrial strategy, published later this year.”

The final report of Phase 1 is due to be published in March. Phase 2 of UKH2Mobility will then use the information and roadmap produced in Phase 1 to develop a detailed business case and specific actions for participants to commit to.

Akihito Tanke, Vice President, Research and Development, Toyota Motor Europe said, “The motor industry recognises it is vital for it to develop and deliver new solutions for reducing the environmental impact of the vehicles it produces. Hydrogen fuel cell technology represents a major advance in securing sustainable mobility.”

“As manufacturers reach the point of bringing the first FCEVs to market, it is important that all interested parties work together to ensure their benefits can be appreciated and realised through co-ordinated dialogue between industry partners and government bodies. UKH2Mobility’s Phase 1 findings provide valuable resources and intelligence to help us secure these advantages and we look forward to participating in Phase 2 to further confirm the potential of hydrogen as a low carbon fuel in the UK.”

Pierre-Etienne Franc, Director, Air Liquide Technologies of the Future said, “The UKH2Mobility initiative has succeeded in gathering both leading industry companies and government bodies in a coordinated approach to study the conditions and paths to allow FCEVs to reach their full potential in the UK. The work achieved in Phase 1 provided fact-based elements and rationale which confirm that the UK could be a country at the forefront of early FCEVs deployment. Through this participation, Air Liquide is proud to pursue its commitment in the development of hydrogen energy infrastructure in the UK and worldwide, and to help develop zero emissions transport solutions.”