5.2.2013 New report maps out hydrogen car future
Over one and a half million hydrogen powered vehicles could be on UK roads by 2030 according to a joint Government-industry study published today.
The forecast is made in an interim report commissioned to evaluate the benefits of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and ensure the UK is well positioned for their commercial roll-out.
Produced by the UKH2Mobility project – which brings together leading businesses from the automotive, energy, infrastructure and retail sectors with Government – the study provides a 'roadmap' for the introduction of vehicles and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure in the UK.
Business Minister Michael Fallon said: "The transition to ultra-low emission vehicles has already begun. It has the potential to create really significant new economic opportunities for the UK, to diversify national energy supply and to decarbonise road transport. The findings released today demonstrate that hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles can make a significant contribution to this."
The key findings from the report are:
*Up to 10% per cent of new car customers will be receptive to fuel cell vehicles when first introduced. These 'early adopters' will be attracted by the newness of the technology and environmental considerations.
* Initial uptake of FCEVs will progress as models make their way on to the market and the fuelling network matures. The roadmap shows that once mass FCEV production is established, there could be 1.6 million vehicles on UK roads by 2030.
*A co-ordinated network of hydrogen refuelling stations will need to be established, focusing at first on national trunk routes and heavily populated areas. An initial roll-out of 65 stations would provide sufficient coverage in line with early vehicle sales.
* The roadmap shows that, based on the uptake figures above, FCEVs could reduce UK annual total vehicle CO2 emissions by three million tonnes in 2030. Replacing diesel vehicles with FCEVs could also save between £100 million and £200 million a year in the cost of damage to air quality caused by vehicle emissions by 2050.
* FCEVs produce no harmful tailpipe emissions, but some forms of hydrogen production do generate CO2. Using a range of manufacturing methods can deliver hydrogen at a cost that is competitive with diesel, with 60% lower CO2 emissions in 2020, improving to 75% less in 2030. Hydrogen production will be on course for zero emissions by 2050, at which time FCEVs could have a market share of between 30 to 50%.
* A basic initial network of Hydrogen Refuelling Stations is required to encourage early adoption of FCEVs and there will inevitably be a lag between the creation of this network and there being sufficient FCEVs on the road to make it financially self-sustaining.
Phase 1 of the UKH2Mobility project estimated the total finance needed to be around £400m until 2030. Phase 2 will be focussed on both reducing this figure and considering different models for delivering it. The final report of Phase 1 is due to be published in March. Phase 2 of UKH2Mobility will then use the information and roadmap produced in Phase 1 to develop a detailed business case and specific actions for participants to commit to.
Akihito Tanke, Vice President, Research and Development, Toyota Motor Europe said: "The motor industry recognises it is vital for it to develop and deliver new solutions for reducing the environmental impact of the vehicles it produces. Hydrogen fuel cell technology represents a major advance in securing sustainable mobility. As manufacturers reach the point of bringing the first FCEVs to market, it is important that all interested parties work together to ensure their benefits can be appreciated and realised through co-ordinated dialogue between industry partners and government bodies."
"UKH2Mobility's Phase 1 findings provide valuable resources and intelligence to help us secure these advantages and we look forward to participating in Phase 2 to further confirm the potential of hydrogen as a low carbon fuel in the UK."
To see the interim report go to 'Synopsis of Phase 1 Results'.
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