A British trade body has welcomed moves to expand the availability of ultra-low emission hydrogen powered vehicles on UK roads.
The British Compressed Gases Association says two separate developments unveiled last week will help address a significant barrier currently restricting their entry. Despite the success of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) around the world, a lack of refuelling opportunities nationally has hampered their introduction in the UK.
BCGA says the process to address this obstacle has taken a major step forward following the Government’s announcement earlier this month of a £23 million fund to accelerate the take-up of hydrogen vehicles and roll out more cutting-edge infrastructure. Days earlier the situation received a further boost, with the ultra-low emission energy source featuring in a supplement to the Blue Book.
The Blue Book offers expert information on the storage and dispensing of fuel for vehicles and the BCGA says the inclusion of hydrogen in a supplement presents another significant milestone in addressing the fuelling infrastructure shortfall.
Doug Thornton, chief executive of the BCGA, said, “Vehicles running on hydrogen have a realistic driving range in excess of 300 miles, which is a major benefit for drivers looking to make longer journeys using alternative-fuel vehicles.
“They also release no Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) and particulates – a problem associated with diesel cars – so they can make a significant, positive impact on air quality, particularly in towns and cities, and help address the health issues associated with air pollution.
“As a result, uptake of hydrogen fuelled cars has made faster progress across other parts of the world, including mainland Europe, America and Japan.
“But the lack of fuelling infrastructure nationwide has been putting the brakes on their introduction elsewhere in the UK.
“Hydrogen-powered cars, vans, taxis and buses are already proving their value in and around London and some other areas, using trusted and time-proven technology.
“But hydrogen needs to become available at fuel stations throughout the country and the Government’s announcement, coupled with its inclusion in the Blue Book, marks the start of the process to make this happen.
“With the right infrastructure in place, fleet companies, public transport and car-buying consumers will be able to choose the vehicle which best suits their needs.”