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Government creates £23m fund for hydrogen development

Tuesday 21 March 2017, By Autovolo

Government creates £23m fund for hydrogen development

Government creates £23m fund for hydrogen development

The government has announced that it is creating a new £23 million fund to promote the take-up of hydrogen vehicles and help develop the infrastructure that supports them.

Hydrogen fuel providers will have the ability to bid for funding and organisations that currently produce hydrogen vehicles will also be able to access this money.

Transport minister John Hayes said: “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.”

A competition will be launched in the summer, which will see public organisations and hydrogen operators invited to submit proposals.  

Those bidders who are successful will have the investments they are making matched by the government.

The announcement comes as a continuation of the government’s plans to lower carbon emissions and improve air quality.

Although electric and hybrid cars have grown in popularity in recent years, hydrogen-powered vehicles still have a tough job to achieve the same level of interest. 

Paul Van der Burgh, president and managing director of Toyota, said: “Toyota believes hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles can play an important role in the transition to a low carbon, low emissions society.”

There are just two hydrogen cars on sale currently – the Toyota Mirai and the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell. Though extremely environmentally friendly – each car emits just water as a by-product of the combustion process – their high list price and the relatively small number of filling stations has limited their appeal. There are only 14 active hydrogen filling stations currently in the country, with the vast majority of them in the London area.