A NEW £23m boost for hydrogen vehicles take-up and roll out more cutting-edge infrastructure has been announced by the government’s Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).
The move comes ten months after a similar but smaller £2 million incentive scheme by the government, launched alongside a £6.6 million hydrogen infrastructure investment strategy bringing five new hydrogen fuel stations to the London area.
In the new competition 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. The funding will boost the creation of hydrogen fuel infrastructure and uptake of hydrogen-powered vehicles or fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).
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.
Hydrogen for London
- HyFive (Hydrogen for Innovative Vehicles) is a pioneering £31m project involving leading motor manufacturers, hydrogen fuel suppliers, the Mayor of London’s Office and energy consultancies to make hydrogen vehicles a viable and environmentally friendly choice for motorists across Europe.
- ITM Power was selected by the London Hydrogen Partnership to be the Hydrogen Refuelling Station partner for London. This resulted in an award of contract to supply three ITM Power electrolyser-based refuelling stations.
It has been welcomed by the ITM Power CEO, Dr. Graham Cooley, who said: “This important new UK Government funding programme supporting the roll out of hydrogen vehicles is a welcome step and shows a commitment to tackling inner city air pollution.
“The increasing momentum generated by the introduction of Toyota, Honda and Hyundai FCEV’s into the UK is set to continue as a result of this significant infrastructure funding.”
ITM Power manufactures integrated hydrogen energy solutions which are rapid response and high pressure that meet the requirements for grid balancing and energy storage services, and for the production of clean fuel for transport, renewable heat and chemicals.
The company received £4.9m as a strategic investment from JCB in March 2015; signed a forecourt siting agreement with Shell in September 2015 and a fuel agreement with Toyota in October 2015.
The company currently has £17.41m of revenue under contract and £7.04m in the final stages of negotiation, making a total pipeline of £24.45m.
ITM Power hydrogen refuelling stations
- ITM has gained full planning permission for hydrogen refuelling stations (HRS) at four sites comprising Birmingham, Swindon and two sites in Sheffield.
- Additional sites have been identified in London and around the M25; along the M1 Corridor including Leeds; and along the M40 Corridor including Oxford and along the M4 including Bristol and Cardiff.
- ITM Power now has four publicly accessible HRS, one on the M1 funded by InnovateUK and three funded by the FCH JU and OLEV under the HyFive project.
- Two further HRS funded by the FCHJU and OLEV under the H2ME project are in construction and another three funded by the FCHJU under the H2ME2 project have been granted planning permission.
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 quickly 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, like conventional vehicles.
“The government is working closely with industry on the future direction of the UK automotive sector and has allocated over £600 million for low emission vehicles over the course of this Parliament with an additional £390 million announced at last year’s Autumn Statement for ultra low emission vehicles and driverless cars.
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.”
Today’s announcement builds on the launch of the Industrial Strategy green paper published in January which outlined plans to fund new high-value economic infrastructure and reaffirmed government commitment to investing in energy innovation and to tackling the causes of climate change.