Hydrogen vehicles 'need to be used' for UK's push for net zero as investment continues


Currently, only two hydrogen cars are commercially available in the UK – the Toyota Mirai and the Hyundai NEXO. As of December 2020, it was estimated that there are just over 31,000 passenger hydrogen vehicles on the world’s roads.

The Government released the UK Hydrogen Strategy report at the end of August which looked at how hydrogen could play a role in the UK’s decarbonisation effort.

It stated that there are over 300 hydrogen vehicles on UK roads, mostly passenger cars and buses.

The Government is supporting hydrogen use in transport with a £23million grant for the Hydrogen for Transport Programme.

The report also clarified that hydrogen could be used to “complement electrification across modes of transport” including buses, trains and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).

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Between 2021 and 2024, Bosch plans to invest €1billion (£844million) into fuel cell technology and estimates that the market for mobile fuel-cell components will be worth around €18billion (£15.2billion) by the end of the decade.

Bosch is looking to develop the next generation of powering vehicles, as many companies look to transition away from fossil fuels and look at alternative fuels.

The global investment into the sector will not be enough to make hydrogen a feasible vehicle option anytime soon, unlike electric vehicles.

Caterina Brandmayr, head of climate policy at Green Alliance, commented on the likelihood of widespread adoption of hydrogen vehicles.

Speaking with Express.co.uk, she said: “It’s clear that in a net zero economy cars and vans will be battery electric, rather than hydrogen.

“Battery electric technology is simply better suited for these vehicles and already much cheaper.

“And the good news is that the UK is well placed to lead on this global transition.

“Instead, clean hydrogen – which will only be available in limited amounts, especially in the near term – needs to be used for those parts of the economy where there is no other clean alternative.

“In the case of transport, these are aviation and shipping.”

A recent Express.co.uk poll found that almost 70 percent of drivers would buy a hydrogen car, with only six percent of the 4,660 votes saying they would purchase an electric car.

Despite the broad popularity, there are very few refuelling stations in the UK with UK H2 Mobility saying there are just 14 stations.

Further Government investment has also been provided to set up the Tees Valley Hydrogen Transport Hub in northern England.

Around £8million has already been invested to understand hydrogen’s role in decarbonising the transport sector, through large scale trials across different transport modes and use cases.


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