Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) provide the potential to decarbonise road transport, create new economic opportunities, diversify national energy supply, and significantly reduce the local environmental impact of vehicles. The UK H2Mobility project was established to evaluate the benefits of FCEVs to the UK and to develop a roadmap for the introduction of vehicles and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure.
It brought together Government departments and a group of companies representing the different industries concerned with manufacturing FCEVs and the production, distribution and sale of the hydrogen fuel they use. In the first phase of the project the consortium’s research demonstrated that FCEVs represent an attractive and sustainable long-term business proposition for all parties and that they can deliver valuable environmental and economic benefits to the UK for a relatively small up-front investment. The project has also quantified consumer demand for the new technology and identified early adopter groups.
These findings have provided a platform and motivation for the group to work towards an early market introduction for FCEVs. For commercialisation to be successful, a hydrogen fuelling infrastructure will need to be in place when the vehicles are brought to market. This will require a co-ordinated approach involving many parties from different sectors, reflected in the breadth of UK H2Mobility’s membership, comprising vehicle manufacturers, hydrogen producers, fuel retailers, an energy utility, equipment manufacturers and government departments and Devolved Administrations.
FCEVs will be introduced in suitable markets from 2015, with Germany, Scandinavia, Japan and California all preparing for the start of FCEV sales. The UK H2Mobility members recognise the importance of prompt action to ensure the potential economic and carbon benefits of hydrogen transport are realised within the UK.
Having assembled the most robust and detailed fact base possible, the project was able to develop a roadmap for the roll-out of hydrogen vehicles in the UK.