Hydrogen Vehicles

Transport – in the House of Commons on 2nd July 2020.

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Photo of Greg Smith Greg Smith Conservative, Buckingham

What steps he is taking to increase the use of hydrogen vehicles.

Photo of George Freeman George Freeman Conservative, Mid Norfolk

Whether the transport decarbonisation plan will support the UK to become a world leader in hydrogen technology.

Photo of Rachel Maclean Rachel Maclean Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

We are accelerating the use of hydrogen vehicles through demonstration and R&D projects to fulfil our ambitions for greener transport and to level up the country. Decarbonising transport requires the sector and users to embrace new technology and innovations such as hydrogen like never before.

Photo of Greg Smith Greg Smith Conservative, Buckingham

I welcome the Minister’s answer. Given that hydrogen technology presents such an enormous opportunity for clean UK-made transport of the future, will she ensure that hydrogen gets an equal billing in that R&D in future as we deliver the green revolution in transport?

Photo of Rachel Maclean Rachel Maclean Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

I entirely agree with my hon. Friend’s comments. We are totally well placed to be a leader in clean hydrogen and fuel cell technology, and that is down to our high-quality engineering and manufacturing capability. This Government, I as a Minister and the whole Department are working at pace to develop our green recovery plan, and hydrogen will form a key part of that.

Photo of George Freeman George Freeman Conservative, Mid Norfolk

I thank the Minister and the Secretary of State for the work that they are doing, in particular, on the transport decarbonisation plan that he and I started together. Does the Minister agree that to make the post-covid recovery a real catalyst both for levelling up and sustainable growth, an industrial strategy for hydrogen fuel with four, five or six green hydrogen transport hubs, from Aberdeen to Teesside, Norfolk, Bristol and Northern Ireland, and a major procurement package for hydrogen buses would really help the UK to take a lead, drive down the cost, and lead in the science and R&D of hydrogen fuel?

Photo of Rachel Maclean Rachel Maclean Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

I will take this opportunity to thank my hon. Friend for his valuable contribution in driving forward this vital agenda. We are a world leader in technology, innovation and R&D and, as he will know, we have invested £121 million in UK hydrogen technology to make sure that it plays a key part in our green recovery and achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. He is also right that this has the potential to drive a fantastic flourishing and see levelling up across our whole country. We are working to include hydrogen and ensure that it plays a key part in the green recovery and our levelling-up ambitions.