Focus on: Hydrogen in London
Posted on March 11, 2016
Hydrogen infrastructure is developing globally to keep up with demand from new-to-market hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). However, for FCEVs to be a common sight on UK roads, there needs to be a strong network of hydrogen refuelling stations built across the country.
There are various projects taking place across the UK to accelerate the use of hydrogen and develop a refuelling network: HyFIVE (funded by The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking) will create a cluster of refuelling stations across Europe, H2Mobility is an ongoing collaborative public-private partnership, comprising of government and business to evaluate the potential for hydrogen FCEVs and Hydrogen London was set up to develop a network of hydrogen fuel cell stakeholders and to advance hydrogen fuel cell technology in London.
What is the hydrogen infrastructure like in the capital of the UK?
There are two hydrogen refilling stations (HRS) in London already open to the public and another five are planned for this year. Throughout the UK, 13 HRS will be operating in 2016 and this is expected to increase to create a national network of 65 filling stations in Britain by 2020, concentrated in the busiest parts of the country. This network will create the basics for accommodating widespread FCEV deployment, reaching 1150 HRS sites by 2030 and providing close-to-home refuelling for the whole of the UK.
FCEV’s are already on the road with London currently operating a fleet of eight hydrogen buses running on route RV1 between Covent Garden and Tower Gateway, and in December last year, the first hydrogen-fuelled minicabs took to the streets. This is not the first hydrogen taxi on the road though, back in 2012 Intelligent Energy formed part of a consortium to trial hydrogen fuelled black cabs during the London Olympics. Additionally, Transport for London have two Huyandai ix35 Fuel Cell cars in operation and will shortly bring four Toyota Mirai’s into fleet operation.
The Greater London Authority are actively supporting this adoption of hydrogen and zero emission motoring as a way to combat air pollution in the capital. In fact, two of the mayoral candidates are vowing to switch to electric or hydrogen buses if they are elected and more hydrogen production facilities being planned as part of hydrogen projects.
All of this progress is encouraging. It now seems to be simply a matter of time before FCEVs are a common sight on the roads.
Hydrogen Week runs from the 11th – 18th March 2016. This event, held in collaboration with Hydrogen London partners, aims to inform the public of the Mayor of London’s policy on sustainable energy, reducing CO2 emissions and creating a hydrogen economy.
Events will be held throughout the week, including:
- 12th International Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Conference, NEC Birmingham
- Hydrogen London Transport Fair, London’s City Hall
- Aberdeen Hydrogen Showcase Event, Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre
- London School’s Hydrogen Challenge
Intelligent Energy will be exhibiting at the Hydrogen London Transport Fair on Tuesday the 16th March at London’s City Hall. The Suzuki Burgman bike will be on display along with some the company’s innovative fuel cell stacks.
Dennis Hayter, Chair of H2Mobility and The UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association said, “Hydrogen Week is a welcome opportunity to showcase exemplars of the latest hydrogen vehicle technologies and the impact that can be made in improving air quality into the future.”
During March, there will also be a Hydrogen Exhibition, showcasing innovative hydrogen and fuel cell technology in the City Hall Café and Chamber lobby during the week, and this is open to members of the public.