ITM Power, the energy storage and clean fuel company, has supported the publication of a new UK Government document – a strategy for ultra low emission vehicles.

Transport Minister Norman Baker launched the government’s strategy to drive forward the ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) industry.

The new strategy signals a major change in the way vehicles will be powered in the future and reaffirms the government’s commitment to provide new opportunities for the motor industry to help grow the UK economy.

The minister launched ‘Driving the future today - a strategy for ultra low emission vehicles in the UK’ during his visit to the annual low carbon vehicle exhibition in Bedfordshire.

Norman Baker said, “These are exciting times for the motoring industry as ultra low emission vehicles are the future for road travel. Our vision is that by 2050 almost every car and van will be an ultra low emission vehicle with the UK at the forefront of their design, development and manufacture. This strategy moves us up a gear in pursuing that vision.”

“As well as huge opportunities for the automotive sector, this will bring life-changing benefits to our towns and cities improving air quality and reducing carbon emissions and it will provide energy security by reducing our reliance on foreign oil imports. “

“We recently announced in our Action for roads paper over £500m of new capital investment between 2015 and 2020 to continue to support the development and adoption of ULEVs in the UK. We look forward to working with industry on how best to use this money to make the government’s vision a reality as quickly as possible.”

The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) is inviting industry to have a say through a call for evidence on how best to invest £500m of funding to drive the revolution and establish the UK as a premier market for ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs). The call for evidence will be launched shortly.

The following is taken from the Summary document; “The Government has consistently supported the development of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles alongside the roll-out of plug-in vehicles as part of its technologically neutral approach. Both technologies are likely to have an important role to play in our future mobility.”

“That is why we are actively working with companies in the ground-breaking UKH2Mobility project to develop a business case for the roll-out of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (and the associated hydrogen refuelling infrastructure) in the UK from 2015. “

In addition, there are five workstreams listed in the document as commitments. In Workstream 2, it is stated,

“Subject to further work in Phase 2 of UKH2Mobility, we will explore the options for Government grant funding to support industry’s investments in the initial network of around 65 hydrogen refuelling stations estimated to be required to support the introduction of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles in the UK – by May 2014.”

“We will work with industry to identify and resolve outstanding practical issues around the refuelling and use of hydrogen FCEVs, including the hydrogen quality assurance process, integration of hydrogen refuelling into conventional fuel retail forecourts and ensuring an optimal consumer experience – by December 2014.”

In Workstream 5, it says,

“We will work with industry to identify mechanisms to ensure that as the uptake of hydrogen FCEVs grows, they can increasingly be fuelled by ‘green’ hydrogen – ongoing.”

ITM Power Non-Executive Chairman and former Chairman of Ford Of Britain Ltd, Prof. Roger Putnam CBE, commented, “I am delighted to see this announcement. In my 40 years in the automotive industry, this is by far the largest government commitment to low emission vehicles I have ever seen. This a significant shot in the arm for low carbon vehicle deployment in the UK, including the roll out of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and the hydrogen infrastructure that will begin to be deployed in the next 18 months.”