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Together with the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), the Government has pledged to spend £11 million pounds investing in 15 hydrogen refuelling stations across Britain.
The project will be joint-funded by the government and industry with £7 million pounds being spent on the installation and running of up to seven new hydrogen refuelling stations, with a further £2 million spent on improving existing stations and £2 million spent on approximately 40 hydrogen-fuelled vehicles for use by the public sector.
Despite the new government initiative, the country still contains a miniscule amount of hydrogen refuelling stations in comparison to conventional filling stations, but the move does represent the first step in a bid to help diversify the range of technologies available to consumers
Society of Motoring Manufacturers and Traders Chief Executive Mike Hawes, said: “Investment in hydrogen fuel infrastructure in the UK is important for the automotive industry. As consumer interest in low emission vehicles increases, the industry is diversifying the range of technologies available, with hydrogen-fuelled vehicles joining pure electric, hybrid, alternatively and conventionally-powered vehicles.
OLEV’s investment is part of a £500 million government fund to be spent between 2015 and 2020, aimed at turning the UK into a global leader for the development and take-up of low emission vehicles.
Mr Hancock said: “Hydrogen cars present us with a huge economic opportunity and can bolster our internationally renowned automotive industry. We want to make the UK one of the best places in the world to design, manufacture and sell ultra-low emission vehicles.
“The Government will work in true partnership with industry so the potential benefits are realised by businesses and consumers across the UK.”
There are currently no hydrogen fuel-cell cars on sale in the UK, but Toyota announced plans earlier this month to launch a fuel-cell saloon in the UK in 2015 with a price of around £40,000. According to the firm, it will take just three minutes to fill the tank and the range will match that of a petrol car, giving it big advantages over pure electric models.