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The uptake of hydrogen-fuelled vehicles has received a boost following the government's announcement that it will invest £6.6 million in strengthening the hydrogen refueling network across England.
Business Minister, Matthew Hancock, has confirmed seven new projects have been given the green light which will see an initial network of 12 hydrogen refuelling stations established, including new stations built in Brentford and Croydon and a new mobile station that will be used across the south of England, as well as upgrades to existing hydrogen demonstrator stations.
“Low emission vehicles are the future and show that we can meet our climate change commitments without giving up our cars or motorbikes. This investment shows we are serious about increasing the uptake of cleaner vehicles in the UK, and offer a fantastic place for firms to locate their research and development and manufacturing facilities. Supporting new technologies is a key part of our long-term economic plan,” Hancock said.
The seven confirmed hydrogen projects are:
- new hydrogen refuelling stations in Brentford and Croydon
- Four upgrades to Sheffield and London stations
- upgrades to existing stations in Hatton Cross and Hendon
- an upgrade to a mobile refuelling station to support conferences and test drives of fuel cell vehicles
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- One new mobile station based in the south of England
University of South Wales
- An upgrade to an existing station in Port Talbot
- Upgrading an existing station in Swindon.
Hyundai, which began UK deliveries of its ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle last year, has welcomed the news.
Tony Whitehorn, President & CEO, Hyundai Motor UK, said: “The announcement provides a further boost to Britain’s hydrogen refueling infrastructure. The additional stations and package of upgrades will make hydrogen fuel cell vehicles a viable option for more fleet and private customers.”
“As the first global carmaker to begin UK delivers of hydrogen fuel cell passenger cars in 2014, Hyundai welcomes this investment which will support the rollout of hydrogen technology to additional customers.”
Although choices are currently limited for fuel cell vehicles, more will be on their way soon with the car makers like Toyota, BMW, Daimler (owner of Mercedes-Benz) and Honda all investing in research and development of fuel cell cars.