Government gives £23m boost for hydrogen-powered vehicles and infrastructure
A new £23 million fund to accelerate the take up of
hydrogen vehicles and roll out more cutting-edge infrastructure has been
announced by the government.
Hydrogen fuel providers will be able to bid for funding
in partnership with organisations that produce hydrogen vehicles to help build
hi-tech infrastructure, including fuel stations.
The funding would boost the creation of a hydrogen fuel
infrastructure and uptake of hydrogen-powered vehicles, according to the
Department for Transport.
A competition will be launched this summer, and will
invite proposals from public organisations, businesses and hydrogen operators.
The government will provide match 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: “The transition to
zero emission road transport is both inevitable and desirable as it will
improve air quality in many of our towns and cities. Hydrogen fuel cell
electric vehicles can play a vital role alongside battery electric vehicles to
help us cut harmful emissions.
“We know availability of hydrogen refuelling
infrastructure can be a potential obstacle to the take up of hydrogen fuel cell
electric vehicles. That’s why we’re providing 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.
Hydrogen vehicles can be refuelled using a pump like a
conventional petrol or diesel car, but instead use gas. They produce only water
as a by-product and have a range of around 300 miles per tank.
Toyota already has the hydrogen-powered Mirai available
in the UK and Paul Van der Burgh, president and managing director of Toyota
(GB), said: “Toyota believes hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles can play an
important role in the transition to a low carbon, low emissions society.
“We chose the UK as one of the first international
markets for our Mirai hydrogen fuel cell car and are pleased that the
government is investing in this programme to encourage the further development
of refuelling infrastructure and the wider uptake of fuel cell vehicles.
We will continue to work with the government,
organisations and industry partners to help the UK realise the significant
potential of hydrogen as a clean and sustainable source of power.”