London Mayor launches HyFive initiative

A new European fuel cell vehicle (FCV) project costing £31 million is being coordinated by the Mayor of London.

The so called "HyFive" (Hydrogen for Innovative Vehicles) project was signed yesterday by leading motor manufacturers, hydrogen fuel suppliers and energy consultancies.

The plan aims to develop hydrogen fuel cell technology and improve on the current infrastructure to make hydrogen powered vehicles a viable option for the future.

Manufacturers, including BMW, Dailmer, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota, agreed to distribute 110 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to five EU member states; Italy, Germany, Austria, Denmark and England.

Whilst manufacturers use the money to develop the vehicle technology, part of the budget will be used to install three new hydrogen refueling stations in London, Odense and Innsbruck by 2015.

With the cost of hydrogen technology steadily reducing and the infrastructure being continually improved, there is potential for hydrogen powered electric vehicles to become widely available in the future. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has been a vocal advocate for the hydrogen cause.

As stated by the Mayor at the project launch: "To sell this technology we need to show Londoners and the wider world that it is not science fiction. By building the vehicles and the filling stations and allowing people to kick the tyres we will be able to demonstrate that hydrogen is a viable option and that London is at the forefront of efforts to make it so."

There would be many benefits to switching to hydrogen transport in the future. Hydrogen powered cars combine hydrogen and O2 taken from the atmosphere to power an electric motor. This process produces no tailpipe emissions, other than water vapour.

Furthermore, fuel cell vehicles do not suffer the range limitations of current battery electric vehicles; FCVs are more than twice as fuel efficient as conventionally powered cars and theoretically offer a healthy range of 400+ miles.

Honda, Hyundai, International Business Times

Edward Wirgman

Author:Edward Wirgman
Date Updated:4th Apr 2014

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