Hydrogen vehicle investment is a 'drop in the ocean' as fuel is 'logical' for UK use


The Government’s UK Hydrogen Strategy report detailed a funding boost of £23million through the Hydrogen for Transport Programme which aims to support the use of the fuel within the industry. It said it expected hydrogen to play a key role in depot-based transport including buses and heavy goods vehicles, with further funding coming from other interested parties.

According to UK H2 Mobility, there are 11 hydrogen refuelling stations open to the public for cars, with a further three planned to open soon.

Most of the refuelling stations are around major cities and key transport links including London, Birmingham and Aberdeen.

Stephen Learney, Vice President and General Manager of Haskel, has been instrumental in setting up the hydrogen network in the UK and around the world.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, he said: “If the chargers are out of town and in the right place, a larger city would need one or maybe two.

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“In terms of investments, for the whole cost of the hydrogen for the station, you’re looking at £2million or £3million at the very most.

“To service a huge part of the UK, you’re looking at 50 or 60 stations, even at the most expensive £3million. That’s £180million.

“In the grand scheme of things, that’s a drop in the ocean in my opinion.”

Haskel operates from their headquarters in Sunderland, but have helped develop hydrogen refuelling systems in China, New Zealand and Slovenia.

The entire process to make and install a hydrogen fuelling station takes around one year from start to finish.

This is down to the supply chain which is still growing with more suppliers emerging as the fuel source becomes more popular.

The time to build and install a refuelling station is expected to drop dramatically over the next couple of years, given that most of the technology will remain the same, allowing for easier development.

Mr Learney continued, saying: “Once you start talking about cars it gets more difficult because the distance between stations needs to be more frequent, and higher volume.

“But to address the biggest polluter from the transport industry, it’s not a huge investment and for me that’s the logical way of going.

“It’s fairly low cost, low commitment from the Government to basically get the country running on this new fuel which is decarbonising. 

“Once you’ve got that infrastructure, you can start to build the rest of the infrastructure, like the source and transport of hydrogen around the country.

“Getting that infrastructure in place is relatively low cost and we could easily do that within this decade if not quicker.”

A hydrogen car will take around three minutes to refuel, with a bus taking seven minutes. 


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