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DfT announces £6.6m hydrogen investment

Date: 30 March 2015   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

The Department for Transport has announced it is investing £6.6 million in seven new hydrogen projects across the UK as part of its drive for greener vehicles.

The money will be used to form a network of 12 hydrogen refueling stations, including new stations built in Brentford and Croydon and a mobile station. The fund will also support upgrades to the existing network of demonstrator stations.

 The seven projects are:

  • ITM Power
    • Two new hydrogen refuelling stations in Brentford and Croydon
    • Four upgrades to Sheffield and London stations
  • Air Products
    • Two 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
  • Fuel Cell Systems
    • A new mobile station based in Southern UK
  • University of South Wales
    • An upgrade to an existing station in Port Talbot
  • Honda UK
    • An upgrade to an existing station in Swindon

Hyundai has already started sales of its hydrogen fuel cell ix35 in the UK with six sold between October and December last year and two orders taken in the first two months of 2015.

Hyundai is on the edge of confirming official UK pricing for its ix35 fuel cell but an announcement has been delayed while the firm confirms the level of subsidies and project grants available to those businesses that want to buy.

Toyota has revealed European pricing in Germany for its Mirari fuel cell vehicle at ?66,000 (£47,500) but is also yet to confirm pricing for the UK.

"Today's announcement from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills provides a further boost to Britain's hydrogen refuelling infrastructure. The additional stations and package of upgrades will make fuel cell vehicles a viable option for more fleet and private customers," said Tony Whitehorn, president of Hyundai UK.

"As the first global carmaker to begin UK delivers of Fuel Cell passenger cars in 2014, Hyundai welcomes this investment which will support the rollout of hydrogen technology to additional customers," said Whitehorn.

Ultimately, Whitehorn wants there to be pricing parity between diesel and hydrogen in the future.

Whitehorn made it clear that while hydrogen is, in his opinion, the fuel for the future, Hyundai is still looking at a mixed-strategy for its alternative fuel vehicles.

He told BusinessCar: "I think there will be a 10 to 15 year period before we are at a position with fuel cell where it's accepted as a mainstream fuel and the infrastructure is in place.

"So in between that we'll have a mixed approach with petrol, diesel, mild-hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles."