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New Government and cross industry programme to make hydrogen powered travel in the UK a reality

UKH2Mobility

A ground breaking project to ensure the UK is well positioned for the commercial roll-out of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles has been launched, Business Minister Mark Prisk announced today.

The new programme – UKH2Mobility – brings together three Government Departments and industrial participants from the utility, gas, infrastructure and global car manufacturing sectors.

The group will evaluate the potential for hydrogen as a fuel for Ultra Low Carbon Vehicles in the UK before developing an action plan for an anticipated roll-out to consumers in 2014/15. It aims to:

  • Analyse in detail the specific UK case for the introduction of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles as one of a number of solutions to decarbonise road transport and quantify the potential emissions benefits;
  • Review the investments required to commercialise the technology, including refuelling infrastructure;
    and
  • Identify what is required to make the UK a leading global player in hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle manufacturing thereby paving the way for economic opportunities to the UK, through the creation of new jobs and boosting of local economies.

All of the participants have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to agree to share their knowledge and expertise.

Speaking at the launch of UKH2Mobility at the Royal Society Mark Prisk said: “The UK is proving itself to be a key early market for ultra-low emission vehicles with growing numbers of electric and plug-in hybrids appearing on our roads. The Government is supporting this market by investing £400million to support the development, demonstration and deployment of low and ultra-low emission vehicles.

“Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles are increasingly being recognised as one of the viable options as we move to a lower carbon motoring future. They are highly efficient, can be fuelled in minutes, travel an equivalent range to a conventional combustion engine, and have zero tail-pipe emissions.

“The UK has a number of world-class companies that are developing exciting technologies in both the hydrogen energy and automotive value chains and it is therefore vitally important that we identify what is required to make these cars a realistic proposition for UK consumers.

“UKH2Mobility will bring together industry expertise to establish the UK as a serious global player in the manufacture and use of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles and the supporting infrastructure.”

Jerry Hardcastle, Vice-President for Vehicle Design and Development at Nissan said: “This is an important step for the automotive sector towards the development of clean vehicle technologies and zero emission mobility. It will lay many of the foundations for the commercial deployment of hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles which could represent a large segment of the UK market in the coming years. With this comprehensive list of partners we can be assured to have all the knowledge necessary to make UKH2 Mobility an exhaustive and credible study.”

Kevin Michaelis, Regional Vice President, Liquid Bulk/Generated Gases–Europe, Air Products, said: “This project brings together the leading hydrogen infrastructure providers, at the forefront of deployment worldwide, with the common goal of supporting the rollout of hydrogen transport across the United Kingdom. “The hydrogen infrastructure sector has been working over a number of years to develop hydrogen transport in the UK. We are very pleased that the progress made is being recognised by the Government in this groundbreaking initiative that will shift the focus from R&D to deployment of hydrogen infrastructure.

“Working together with Government and leading car manufacturers we can support the creation of a hydrogen transport infrastructure that will dramatically cut harmful vehicle emissions and move the UK towards a zero carbon transport system.”

Dr Henri Winand, Chief Executive of Intelligent Energy said: “The UKH2Mobility is a ground-breaking industry led task force. Its job is to roll its sleeves up and ensure that the UK is well positioned for the commercial roll-out of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles from 2014/15 as part of a balanced portfolio of drivetrains. Fuel cell vehicles, storage and refuelling technology are here today, they work! We now need to look at how we can make these elements, together with the hydrogen refuelling infrastructure, work most effectively to enable the UK to take full advantage of hydrogen as a transport fuel; stimulating inward investment, GDP growth and securing and creating new jobs”.

UKH2Mobility will deliver its evaluation of the potential of hydrogen as a transport fuel by the end of 2012. If the results are positive, an action plan will be developed to work through the steps needed to get the UK ready to be one of the first markets for the global commercial roll out of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles.

Notes to Editors:

  • There are 13 industry participants (below) in UKH2Mobility together with three UK Government Departments – The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, The Department for Transport and the Department for Energy and Climate Change in addition to the European Fuel Cells & Hydrogen Joint Undertaking.
  • Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles themselves share a large proportion of the electric motor and drive train technology with other electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles; it is the energy storage/conversion devices that are different. The fuel cell is an electrochemical device like a battery, but unlike a battery it does not need recharging, can be refuelled quickly and will continue to generate power so long as it is fed with hydrogen fuel. They are highly efficient devices (50-60% compared to an average of around 20% for internal combustion engines) that produce no emissions or pollutants at the tail-pipe and much reduced overall well-to-wheel emissions when compared with today’s petrol and diesel engines.
  • Hydrogen is a clean energy carrier. When used as fuel in fuel-cell systems it does not produce any carbon emissions (carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, unburned hydrocarbons or particulates). Therefore, using hydrogen will contribute to the improvement of air quality and the reduction of CO2.
  • Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric vehicles are seen as part of the portfolio of solutions that will be required to decarbonise road transport. The Automotive Council Roadmap identifies a pathway where fuel cell electric vehicles will complement hybrid and battery electric vehicles and more efficient internal combustion engines.
  • The Government continues to take a technology-neutral approach to supporting low and ultra-low carbon vehicle technology and recognises that a portfolio of solutions will be required to decarbonise transport. The Plug-in Car Grant is open to all vehicles meeting the performance criteria, including hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, pure electric and plug-in hybrid models. This Grant gives both private and business consumers a reduction in the upfront cost of eligible vehicles (http://www.dft.gov.uk/topics/sustainable/olev/plug-in-car-grant/)
  • Industry signatory parties to the Memorandum of Understanding are:

    Air Liquide Hydrogen Energy, SA
    Air Products PLC
    Daimler AG
    Hyundai Motor Company
    Intelligent Energy Limited
    ITM Power PLC
    Johnson Matthey PLC
    Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Limited
    Scottish and Southern Energy plc
    Tata Motors European Technical Centre plc
    The BOC Group Limited
    Toyota Motor Corporation
    Vauxhall Motors

January 18, 2012 - 2:00 PM No Comments

UK H2Mobility-VauxHall Drives Hydrogen 4 Generations

H2VXL

At today’s UK H2Mobility launch event in London, Vauxhall is presenting its 4th generation hydrogen fuel cell vehicle “HydroGen4”.

The event pulls together various industry stakeholders – including Vauxhall – under government lead, to investigate and develop clean hydrogen fuel cell mobility in the UK.

As an environmentally responsible and forward-thinking company with over 100-years of heritage in Britain, Vauxhall is proud to be at the forefront of hydrogen fuel cell technology development and continues to explore the potential of all alternative propulsion technologies.

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles combine the advantages of electric propulsion, with the convenience of fast fuelling and long range, thereby playing an important role in Vauxhall’s alternative propulsion portfolio. GM/Vauxhall have been investing in research and development of hydrogen fuel cell technologies for over a decade. Supported by an extensive test fleet in Europe and the US with over 100 fuel cell vehicles logging c2 million miles since 2008, Vauxhall expects the technology to be ready for market introduction by 2016.

Bill Parfitt, Vauxhall Motors’ Director for Government Affairs and Public Policy, comments on the UK H2Mobility initiative: “Following our company’s unrelenting focus on hydrogen fuel cell technology development, the launch and successful roll-out of these vehicles will now depend on the availability of hydrogen to the consumer in a real life environment.  We therefore greatly appreciate this very timely initiative, gathering various stakeholders, under government lead, to establish an adequate strategy for future hydrogen development in the UK.”

January 18, 2012 - 8:18 AM No Comments

Hydrogen refuelling stations: TÜV SÜD assists Japan with the revision of standards and regulations

The Japan Petroleum Energy Center (JPEC) commissioned TÜV SÜD to map the state of the art in hydrogen refuelling stations in Germany and Europe. The results of this study will be incorporated into the revision of Japan’s legal regulations for hydrogen refuelling stations.

By revising the legal regulations for hydrogen refuelling stations, the Japanese government aims to advance the establishment of a national network of 70-MPa (700 bar) hydrogen refuelling stations. For this purpose, the Japan Petroleum Energy Center (JPEC) was commissioned by the Japanese Research Association of Hydrogen Supply / Utilization Technology (HySUT) and the News Energy and Industrial Development Organisation (NEDO) to develop a proposal for the revision of the existing technical standards and regulations. The new standards and regulations are planned to pave the way for constructing and operating hydrogen refuelling stations in Japan and ensure a high level of safety.

On behalf of the JPEC, TÜV SÜD Industrie Service GmbH reviewed the technical requirements and the relevant German and European regulations and standards that must be fulfilled for licensing, constructing and operating hydrogen refuelling stations in Germany. Markus Born, expert for gas refuelling stations at TÜV SÜD Industrie Service, presented the results in Tokyo in front of over 50 experts from the industry and professional associations. These results might contribute to Japan’s revised technical standards and regulations.

“We are very pleased to have been awarded this contract by the Japan Petroleum Energy Center”, says Tom Elliger, Head of Gas Systems – Hydrogen Technology at TÜV SÜD Industrie Service GmbH in Munich. “This contract acknowledges our comprehensive know-how in the area of hydrogen and fuel-cell technology and our in-depth familiarity with national and international codes and standards.”

“Another reason for the award of the contract by JPEC was TÜV SÜD’s international network”, explains Dr Andreas Stange, CEO TÜV SÜD Japan Ltd. in Tokyo. “Cooperation between our Japanese experts on site in Japan and the experts from TÜV SÜD Industrie Service in Munich was excellent and produced a very convincing result.”

January 18, 2012 - 5:41 AM No Comments