THE Department for Transport (DfT) is backing the development of hydrogen-powered vehicles with a £8.8m investment fund to encourage police forces and private hire drivers to switch to zero emission vehicles.
The programme aims to boost the number of hydrogen refuelling stations in key urban population centres such as Southwark and Isleworth in London as well as Birmingham and Derby in the Midlands.
Roads minister Jesse Norman MP said:
Decarbonising our roads is an essential part of meeting this country’s climate targets. The innovative new technologies involved present great opportunities for our increasingly low carbon economy.
“Hydrogen has huge potential, especially for those making longer journeys and clocking up high mileage and this is what makes this project truly exciting.
“Not only is it demonstrating the technology in action, it is also developing the refuelling infrastructure needed for the future. The hydrogen-powered cars will be used by the emergency services, such as the Metropolitan Police, as well as Green Tomato Cars and Europcar.”
Oliver Bishop, general manager of hydrogen at Shell, said: “Hydrogen has the potential to become a significant part of the transport mix in a low-carbon future. Central to this success is collaboration between the Government, energy companies and technology experts, to create the infrastructure to make access to new fuel options viable.
“At Shell, we are delighted to be part of the latest infrastructure funding effort to help drive forward the UK’s hydrogen refuelling network.”
The £8.8m grant will be matched by £13m worth of investment from the companies involved and will be spent on new vehicles, construction of new hydrogen refuelling stations and upgrades to existing facilities.