Ministers have announced a new £23m fund to accelerate the take up of hydrogen vehicles and roll out more ‘cutting-edge infrastructure’.
The Department for Transport (DfT) said hydrogen fuel providers will be able to bid for funding in partnership with organisations that produce hydrogen vehicles to help build high-tech infrastructure, including fuel stations.
A Toyota hydrogen car
A competition to be launched this summer will invite proposals from public bodies, businesses and hydrogen operators. The Government will provide match funding for successful bidders.
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.’
He added: ‘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.'
The DfT said the Government is working closely with industry on the future direction of the UK automotive sector and has allocated more than £600m for low emission vehicles over the course of this Parliament, with an additional £390m announced at last year’s Autumn Statement for ultra low emission vehicles and driverless cars.
Hydrogen vehicles can be quickly refuelled using a pump like a conventional petrol or diesel car. They produce only water as a by-product and have a range of around 300 miles per tank, similar to conventional vehicles.