UK Business Minister Matthew Hancock announced up to £11 million (US$17.7 million) of funding to help establish an initial network of up to 15 hydrogen refueling stations by the end of 2015. Of the £11 million, £7.5 million (US$12 million) will come from government and £3.5 million (US$5.6 million) from industry. Toyota earlier this month announced that the UK will be one of the first markets for its FCEV when it goes on sale next year.
Of the funding, £2 million (US$3.2 million) will go to upgrade 6 to 8 existing hydrogen refueling stations (already operational or under development in the UK) and take them from demonstrator projects to publicly accessible sites.
£3.5 million of funding to be matched by industry (another £3.5 million) will support 4 to 7 new hydrogen refueling stations. This will include mobile stations as well as those on stand-alone sites and integrated into conventional gasoline stations (forecourts).
£2 million of funding will support public sector fleets to encourage deployment of around 40 hydrogen FCEVs in focused geographical clusters.
Hydrogen cars present us with a huge economic opportunity and can bolster our internationally renowned automotive industry. We want to make the UK one of the best places in the world to design, manufacture and sell ultra-low emission vehicles. Government will work in true partnership with industry so the potential benefits are realized by businesses and consumers across the UK.—Minister Hancock, speaking in Japan where he met executives at Honda, Nissan and Toyota
The program follows on from the work undertaken by the UKH2Mobility project, which brings together leading businesses from the automotive, energy, infrastructure and retail sectors with government to provide a roadmap for the introduction of fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen refueling infrastructure in the UK. (Earlier post.)
Establishing 15 hydrogen refueling stations by the end of 2015 will represent a significant first step towards the initial national network of 65 identified by UKH2Mobility.
By 2040 all new cars and vans will be ultra-low emission vehicles and this could be delivered by a variety of technologies, including plug-in hybrids, pure EVs and hydrogen. We want to ensure that support is there for all of these vehicles and that the UK continues to lead the pack in providing the right infrastructure to drive the switch to electric.—Transport Minister Baroness Kramer
There are currently 12 industry participants in UKH2Mobility together with 3 UK government departments—the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Department for Transport and the Department for Energy and Climate Change—and Transport Scotland, Welsh Government and the Greater London Authority. The European Fuel Cells & Hydrogen Joint Undertaking is also a participant.
Industry participants are: Air Liquide SA; Daimler AG; Honda; The Hyundai Kia Automotive Group; Intelligent Energy Limited; ITM Power plc; Johnson Matthey plc; Morrisons; Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd; Sainsbury’s; The BOC Group Limited (part of the Linde Group); and Toyota Motor Corporation.