Hydrogen plans could see fuel cell vehicles ‘become more affordable and commonplace’ on UK roads




Hydrogen plans could see fuel cell vehicles ‘become more affordable and commonplace’ on UK roads.


A new consultation has been launched to see whether certain hydrogen-powered vehicles can be used on roads in Great Britain, as new technology may help bring more fuel cell passenger cars on the road.


The new measures will look to see whether there is appetite for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles on the road to help with farming and agricultural sectors.


It is hoped that more businesses and individuals adopt the use of hydrogen fuel cells to expand its usage and lead to the development of better technology.


The consultation will look at how tractors, diggers and forklifts powered by hydrogen will help building sites and agricultural businesses “go greener”.


A wider aim of the new plans is to help the two sectors, which are vital for the economy, decarbonise at a quicker pace.


The new regulations would allow hydrogen-powered tractors, diggers and forklifts to be used on roads in Great Britain.


Anthony Browne, Technology and Decarbonisation Minister, said:


Allowing hydrogen-powered tractors, diggers and forklifts to use our roads is a common-sense move to help reduce emissions.


“These proposals are an important part of our plan to decarbonise transport in the UK, with skilled jobs in British companies helping roll out this cutting-edge hydrogen technology, making it more affordable and commonplace.”


Greater effort from the government and private industry has been taken in recent years to accelerate progress in the sector and help people slash their emissions.


This can be seen with British brand JCB being given a vehicle special order allowing the company to test its hydrogen-powered diggers on UK roads.


There are hopes that this new consultation will lead to more investment into hydrogen in the UK, with drivers potentially seeing a growing number of hydrogen cars, vans and lorries on the road.


According to the December update of the Government’s Hydrogen Strategy report, there are around 265 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles on the road across the UK.


It comes as a smaller and more powerful hydrogen fuel cell system has been developed for the potential use in passenger cars.


Intelligent Energy unveiled its new IE-Drive system which can produce electrical power of an equivalent 157bhp, with the fuel cell being 30 per cent smaller than other systems and enabling a cruising speed of 80mph.


David Woolhouse, Intelligent Energy’s chief executive, said:


With 25 per cent of all passenger cars expected to have hydrogen fuel cell powertrains, this clean technology represents the future.


“Our Drive product has the potential to shake up the hydrogen fuel cell market and accelerate the transition towards zero-emission mobility.”


It has been predicted that the Drive fuel cell system will cost around £100 per kW by the end of the decade, making it cheaper than EVs and comparable to petrol and diesel vehicles.


The consultation is scheduled to run for four weeks and close on April 24, 2024, with drivers and businesses urged to give their feedback.



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