A pioneering £31m deal was struck today (3 April) to make hydrogen vehicles a viable and environmentally friendly choice for motorists across Europe.

Leading motor manufacturers, hydrogen fuel suppliers, the Mayor of London’s Office and energy consultancies from around the globe are signing up to the HyFive project, the largest of its kind in Europe, at City Hall in London today. Five different manufacturers have agreed to deploy a total of 110 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles at several European locations (Bolzano, Copenhagen, Innsbruck, London, Munich, Stuttgart) and develop new clusters of hydrogen refuelling stations.

Locations are being sought for three new hydrogen refuelling stations in London, one in Aarhus and in Odense (Denmark) and one in Innsbruck (Austria). They are expected to be operational by 2015, by which time some of the manufacturers in the partnership will have started to put hydrogen fuelled cars on sale in some European markets. Using hydrogen gas as a fuel to generate electric power the revolutionary vehicles produce no harmful tailpipe emissions – only water vapour. They have the potential to be more than twice as fuel-efficient as conventionally powered vehicles and operate very quietly.

The Mayor of London’s Office is coordinating the multi million pound project, which has been signed up to by BMW, Daimler, Honda, Hyundai, Toyota and hydrogen fuel companies including Air Products, Copenhagen Hydrogen Network, ITM Power, Linde, OMV. Other signatories include Element Energy, PE INTERNATIONAL, the Institute for Innovative Technology and the European Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking. 

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said, “To sell this technology we need to show Londoners and the wider world that it is not science fiction. By building the vehicles and the filling stations and allowing people to kick the tyres we will be able to demonstrate that hydrogen is a viable option and that London is at the forefront of efforts to make it so.”

Commenting, Diana Raine, European Business Manager, Hydrogen Energy Systems, Air Products, said,  “This project is a fine example of industry working collaboratively to make hydrogen transport a reality. Air Products has been leading the charge in the development of hydrogen fuelling infrastructure in the UK for many years now. We are delighted to be providing our partners in the HyFIVE consortium with access to our existing Smartfuel® fuelling stations at Heathrow Airport and Lea Interchange, Stratford.”