Future of Hydrogen Powered Cars Mapped by the UKH2Mobility Project

ImageOn Monday, 4th February, the UKH2Mobility project released the results of its interim report, evaluating the benefits of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and paving the future for commercial roll-out in the UK.

The project brings together leading businesses from the automotive, energy, infrastructure and retail sectors with Government to provide a ‘roadmap’ for the introduction of vehicles and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure in the UK.

Key findings from the report include: 

  • Up to 10% of new car customers will be receptive to fuel cell vehicles when first introduced, attracted by the newness of the technology and environmental benefits
  • Once mass FCEV production is established, bringing costs down, there is the potential for 1.6 million vehicles on UK roads by 2030, with annual sales of more than 300,000
  • An initial roll-out of 65 stations would provide sufficient coverage in line with early vehicle sales, with the network growing in line with the number of FCEVs on the road to provide 1,150 sites by 2030
  • FCEVs could reduce UK annual total vehicle CO2 emissions by three million tonnes in 2030. Replacing diesel vehicles with FCEVs could also save between £100 million and £200 million a year in the cost of damage to air quality caused by vehicle emissions by 2050.

The UKH2Mobility consortium positions the UK as a lead market for the roll-out of fuel cell electric vehicles, directly contributing to national decarbonisation and air quality improvement objectives.

As a founding member of UKH2Mobility and an Associate Partner of its German counterpart, the project is particularly relevant for UK companies such as Intelligent Energy in building on our leading fuel cell expertise, developing our local supply chains and in creating additional opportunities for our products.

Strategic partnerships

Fuel cell vehicles are on the agenda for other reasons with the announcement of two new partnerships in recent weeks. Toyota Motor Corporation and BMW Group last month agreed to share their fuel cell technologies and jointly develop a fuel cell vehicle platform by 2020.

Separately, , Daimler AG, the Ford Motor Company, and Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. has signed a three-way agreement for the joint development of a common fuel cell system for use in separate mass-market cars from 2017.

Such partnerships are proving popular for several reasons. They can help reduce the investment costs associated with the development of fuel cell technology, and partners can benefit from the pooled intellectual property and shared resources.

SMILE FC System Corporation, the joint venture between Intelligent Energy and Suzuki Motor Corporation, created in February 2012, in Japan to develop and manufacture fuel cell systems for the automotive and other industry sectors, also highlights the way that leading companies can collaborate to help drive fuel cell products forward and towards commercialisation.

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