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Hydrogen Fuel Boost For UK

By raccars Published

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The UK government has announced an investment of £11 million into hydrogen fuel infrastructure, to result in 15 functioning hydrogen filling stations next year. The funding is designed to encourage the purchase of hydrogen fuelled cars in the UK, to help the country increase its reputation as an international leader in clean auto technology.

According to the OLEV (Office for Low Emission Vehicles), part of the £11 million will be industry funded, by manufacturers such as Toyota. It has named the UK as one of the first destinations to sell its FCEV (hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle), due to reach the market in 2015 at a price of about £40,000. Filling the tank should take only three minutes and the car's range will rival that of petrol powered vehicles, making it more practical for long journeys than most pure electric cars. Meanwhile, the first hydrogen fuelled vehicle to go on sale in the UK is set to be the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell, which is due to reach the market within the next couple of weeks.

There are already six to eight hydrogen stations in the UK which are either operational or under various stages of development. £2 million of the funding has been dedicated to upgrading these existing stations, while some seven all new hydrogen filling stations are to be built, including mobile units and the integration of hydrogen into traditional petrol and diesel filling stations. Along with new filling stations, the government has dedicated £2 million to hydrogen vehicle uptake in the public sector. Forty strong FCEV fleets are to be created for specific locations.

Matthew Hancock, the business minister, consulted with Toyota, Honda and Nissan in Japan on how to implement the project and boost the UK's involvement with hydrogen fuel technology. Other schemes designed to decarbonise the UK's transport network include continued support for public consumers investing in plug in and electric vehicles, with a total fund of £900 million available for this and the next Parliament.

The goal is to implement 65 hydrogen filling stations in the UK, which is the necessary level of infrastructure as identified by the UKH2Mobility organisation, to make hydrogen fuel viable for public use. But this is still only a tiny fraction of the 8,500 strong traditional petrol and diesel filling station network in the UK.

Transport minister, Baroness Kramer, is working towards a 100% ultra low emissions new car market by 2040, to be accomplished via a mixture of technologies, such as all electric vehicles, hydrogen and plug in hybrids.

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