Hydrogen: More fuel cell vehicles to hit the market as UK looks to become ‘world leader’

First Hydrogen’s green hydrogen van is set to begin demonstrator testing in June this year, as the company hopes to take delivery of its first set of zero emission commercial vans later this year. Hydrogen is quickly becoming one of the most popular fuel sources around the world, with many hoping that it could work hand-in-hand with electric vehicles as the UK looks to decarbonise before its 2050 net zero target.

In August 2021, the Government announced plans for a “world-leading” hydrogen economy which is set to support over 9,000 jobs and unlock £ 4billion in investment by 2030.

Steve Gill, CEO of Automation at First Hydrogen, highlighted the existing investment into the UK’s hydrogen sector, and how these vehicles could come to fruition this year.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, he said: “I think the Government is doing certain things.

“They’re looking to have five gigawatts of low carbon hydrogen by 2030. They’ve put £ 240million into the Hydrogen Fund.

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“But we would like to see them doing more.

“You look at Germany, € 11billion, France € 7billion, the US, all very large sums, so we would like the Government to support that to a greater degree as they have, rightly so, for EVs.

“We think this is a mixed growth area, particularly with infrastructure and green hydrogen.

“Lots of major players, BP, Shell, Ineos, they’re all looking to develop green hydrogen which needs to be supported by the refueling infrastructure.

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First Hydrogen will then be able to showcase its’ zero-emission commercial van to replace petrol and diesel-powered fleets.

In parallel with the development of the demonstrator vehicles, the company is pursuing green hydrogen production projects in the UK and elsewhere.

Mr Gill continued, saying: “We are very pleased with the progress for the delivery of our two demonstrator vehicles, working with our partners AVL and Ballard.

“We are substantially on track to showcase our road-going vehicles with customers in September 2022, as originally planned.

“Our joint development of this hydrogen fuel cell vehicle will set us apart as a market leader for fuel cell vehicles in the light commercial space and in good stead for our next generation of bespoke hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, which will incorporate all the technical development we have achieved so far. “

First Hydrogen recently signed a collaboration agreement with Cambridge University which will see a five-year partnership designed to undertake research projects into hydrogen production and mobility.

Professor Clemens Kaminski, Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge, says: “This partnership exemplifies the opportunities that can arise when academia combines with commercial entities.

“The hydrogen economy is rapidly evolving, and this project offers an excellent opportunity to solve industrial problems and reduce impact on the environment.

“I am absolutely delighted that this venture is going ahead.”

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