UK hydrogen car plans revealed

UK Hydrogen car plans revealed
4 Feb, 2013 4:44pm Chris Ebbs

The Government has claimed that the first hydrogen fuel cell cars could be on the road by 2015, with 1.5million by 2030

The first hydrogen fuel cell cars could be on UK roads as early as 2015, according to a joint Government-industry study.

Presented by the UKH2Mobility - which is made up of Government departments, car manufacturers, hydrogen providers and technology providers - the research claims that there could be 1.5million hydrogen vehicles on the road by 2030.

However, the migration to hydrogen fuel cell models faces similar stumbling blocks to that of electric cars. Price premium, demand and infrastructure were three particular areas that the research focused on.

With prices expected to be significantly higher than equivalent petrol or diesel models, they will qualify for the £5,000 grant currently available from the Government towards electric cars. However, there is still no guarantee that funds for this will continue after the current Parliament.

In terms of the infrastructure, the Government is hoping to have 65 stations capable of refuelling the cars by 2015, followed by 330 in 2025 and finally a total of 1,150 in 2030.

All this is likely to cost a total of £400m to get to the point projected for 2030, though the research claims that £60m is likely to be the initial cost before 2020. However, there was no talk as to where this funding would come from.

Despite an increasing focus on hydrogen vehicles, electric cars won’t be abandoned. The group claimed that electric cars, plug-in hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will be able to co-exist and chosen depending on the buyer’s circumstances.

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Fantastic, lets hope the government ( and sucessive governemts) commit to it.

Hydrogen is the only real alternative to petrol, battery powered cars are useless. Batteries have been around for ages, theres a reason we don't use tem in cars.

-Current Hydrogen stocks come from steam reforming natural gas, a process using more energy than that required to charge an electric car
-Storage, current methods are done under several hundred bar of pressure. I.e. Not safe
-Infrastructure for the entire developed world would run into billions and is beyond impractical (especially combined with the lack of viable storage)

The 'Hydrogen economy' has been a money pit for over a decade and nothing has come of it for obvious reasons.

Jobyjoe: Batteries have changed significantly in recent years, the most obvious being Li-ion batteries in phones (compare what you had 10 years ago to now) and laptops. The Li-air battery is currently making leaps and bounds (it would probably be commercial if it had the money that was wasted on Hydrogen behind it) and will have energy density close to that of petrol (+80-90% efficiency as opposed to 20-25%). Lithium being non toxic and cells are recycled into standby supplies or base metals.

Hydrogen and Electric cars are not really the way to go. You will never get rid of the internal combustion engine, there are too many around plus there simply wont be enough material resources to replace even half the cars of the world to electric and/or hydrogen. Personally I think they should just continue work on Algae based fuel and synthetic natural gas, much like the Audi E-gas project.

Unbelievably hazardous stuff hydrogen. Worse even than petrol!

Hydrogen is no less safe than say, having gas piped into your home! what really concerns me is the projected cost of the vehicles- me thinks that industry will do its best to prevent it happening by charging ridiculous prices there is little difference in the engine make up of hydrogen fueled vehicles, mainly in the delivery system. The big plus is that its clean and like most other products its economy of scale that makes the difference in cost. To slowly create fuel stops as suggested is nonsense; if there is a market then people will supply the goods, it will take real commitment from our Government to persuade the industry to make the leap and take the lead in introducing a clean fuel that will help us meet our obligations.

It is being in a vehicle that makes it especially hazardous.

ICE age is almost over. In the next few years we'll see an increasing number of car makers hybridising internal combustion cars. That will give the ICE a lease of life. But in the long term we'll have to make a switch from the fossil fuels to alternative sources of energy.

You wont get rid of the ICE, in HGVs for example, its not practical to have electric trucks (would be about 3 times the weight of a normal HGV and take 4 days to charge) and hydrogen tanks would take up too much space. Also Hydrogen fuel cells cost a lot of money and use rare materials. The average consumer simply wont be able to afford it.

The ICE engine is a proven technology which is still advancing today. With further development the ICE vehicle can effectively become (and in a lot of cases is) more efficient then electric (Well-to-Wheel).

As I said earlier down the comments, CNG would be the way to go, its possible to make it synthetically from renewable electricity and can be stored in the national grid. Whats more, with the gas grid being in place, a fuelling station can take the gas from the grid and fuel wouldn't have to be transported by truck from refinery to petrol station. This all helps with "Well-to-Wheel" efficiency.

Couple this to Peugeot-Citroens new compressed air hybrid experiments and you have a cheap, reliable and environmentally friendly motoring solution.

Sounds like forward thinking, the halo jump wireless charge pads are the best way though due to the fact tha you don't need a cable. Also Volvo will have there road train project on the road by then I see the death of the combustion engine coming buy 2030 then ten years on fully self driven cars to be abundant.

Agree. B O O M !!!