20th January 2012
A new Government backed scheme has been launched to assess the capabilities of hydrogen as a fuel source for cars.
A memorandum of understanding has been agreed with a number of firms, which will now focus on the development of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles.
Organisations working within sectors such as manufacturing, gas, utilities and infrastructure will collaborate on the new UKH2Mobility project with three departments within the Government.
With petrol and road tax among the things motorists need to budget for alongside car insurance, electric vehicles could offer drivers the chance to reduce their monthly spending on fuel.
It is hoped that the new group will assess the potential for hydrogen-based fuel and work out how new vehicles could be rolled out in the UK from the 2014/15 period onwards.
As part of its new tasks, the group will focus on the UK-specific case for hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles. The impact of these vehicles on the nation's carbon emissions will also be addressed.
Meanwhile, it will work out the investments which would be needed in order to commercialise the technology.
It will also be required to outline how the country could become a major player when it comes to the manufacture of hydrogen fuel cell electric cars in the future.
Commenting on the new initiative, Mark Prisk, the Government's business minister, said the UK is already 'a key early market for ultra low emission vehicles'
He added: 'The Government is supporting this market by investing £400 million to support the development, demonstration and deployment of low and ultra low emission vehicles.
Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles are increasingly being recognised as one of the viable options as we move to a lower-carbon motoring future. They are highly efficient, can be fuelled in minutes, travel an equivalent range to a conventional combustion engine, and have zero tail-pipe emissions.'
Mr Prisk went on to say: 'The UK has a number of world class companies that are developing exciting technologies in both the hydrogen energy and automotive value chains and it is therefore vitally important that we identify what is required to make these cars a realistic proposition for UK consumers.
UKH2Mobility will bring together industry expertise to establish the UK as a serious global player in the manufacture and use of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles and the supporting infrastructure.'
The minister made his remarks as part of the UKH2Mobility launch at the Royal Society in London.
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