Hydrogen is likely to be fundamental to achieving the full decarbonisation of UK transport. It is likely to be most effective in the areas ‘that batteries cannot reach’ and where energy density requirements or duty cycles and refuelling times make it the most suitable low carbon energy source. This might include use in HGVs, buses, rail, shipping and aviation.
The UK already has one of the largest hydrogen refuelling station networks in Europe, with fourteen publicly accessible stations that provide hydrogen suitable for use by cars, vans, trucks and buses. Government’s £23m Hydrogen for Transport Programme is supporting the deployment of hundreds of new hydrogen vehicles and growing the refuelling network by delivering new refuelling stations and upgrading some existing stations.
The £3m Tees Valley Hydrogen Transport Hub is supporting hydrogen fuel cell vehicle deployments in the region and infrastructure investments by co-locating transport end-users with hydrogen production and refuelling. In addition, the Department for Transport's £20m Zero Emission Road Freight Trials and the government’s 4,000 Zero Emission Buses commitment may also provide the potential for an increase in hydrogen refuelling stations within the UK, subject to future years spending.
In June, the Government announced £20 million for zero-emission vehicle competition winners to power up the electric vehicle transport revolution. The winning bids included projects supporting the development of hydrogen fuel cell vehicle technology.