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Government gives £23m boost for hydrogen-powered vehicles and infrastructure

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.”