The UK Government on October 9 unveiled its plans to provide up to £11million support to facilitate the roll-out of hydrogen fuelled vehicles and associated hydrogen refeulling station (HRS) infrastructure across the UK.  Business Minister Matthew Hancock’s announcement of funding for 15 new refuelling stations by the end of 2015 and for public sector hydrogen vehicles is part of the UK Government’s drive to become a global leader in ultra-low emission vehicles. It follows news earlier this month that Toyota has chosen the UK as one of the first markets for its FCEV when it goes on sale next year. Of the £11 million announced, £7.5 million will come from Government and £3.5 million from industry:

  • £2 million of top-up funding to upgrade 6 to 8 existing hydrogen refuelling stations (already operational or under development in the UK) and take them from demonstrator projects to publically accessible sites;
  • £3.5 million of funding to be matched by industry for 4 to 7 new hydrogen refuelling stations. This will include mobile stations as well as those on stand-alone sites and integrated into conventional petrol forecourts; and
  • £2 million of funding for public sector fleets to encourage deployment of around 40 hydrogen FCEVs in focused geographical clusters.

Speaking in Japan where he met executives at Honda, Nissan and Toyota, Mr Hancock said: “Britain has become one of the best places in the world to build cars, with the value of those we export outstripping imports for the first time in a generation, but we want to go further. Hydrogen cars present us with a huge economic opportunity and can bolster our internationally renowned automotive industry. We want to make the UK one of the best places in the world to design, manufacture and sell ultra-low emission vehicles. Government will work in true partnership with industry so the potential benefits are realised by businesses and consumers across the UK.”

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer said: “By 2040, all new cars and vans will be ultra-low emission vehicles and this could be delivered by a variety of technologies, including plug-in hybrids, pure EVs and hydrogen. We want to ensure that support is there for all of these vehicles and that the UK continues to lead the pack in providing the right infrastructure to drive the switch to electric.”

Dennis Hayter, Chair of UK HFCA said: “We warmly welcome this demonstration of the Government’s ongoing commitment to position the UK as a lead market for the hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles. These 15 refuelling stations will help build momentum in delivering a network of 65 refuelling stations as identified by UK H2Mobility needed to give initial national coverage, and establish the UK at the forefront of global and European markets for hydrogen fuelled vehicles.”

The UK Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Association, EHA’s national association member has actively lobbied government to invest in HRS deployment. See for the full press release here.