Business Minister Michael Fallon said that the transition to ultra-low emission vehicles has already begun
As many as 1.6 million hydrogen-powered cars could be on UK roads by 2030, a Government-industry joint report has said.
Up to 10% of new-car customers would be receptive to hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) when they are introduced, the interim report predicted.
Initial uptake of FCEV would progress as models made their way on to the market and the fuelling network matured, the report said.
It added that once mass FCEV production was established, bringing costs down, there was the potential for 1.6 million vehicles on UK roads by 2030, with annual sales of more than 300,000.
The report said a co-ordinated network of hydrogen refuelling stations would need to be established, focusing at first on national trunk routes and heavily-populated areas.
An initial roll-out of 65 stations would provide sufficient coverage in line with early vehicle sales, with the network growing in line with the number of FCEV on the road to provide 1,150 sites by 2030.
The report, produced by the UKH2Mobility project, said FCEV could reduce UK annual total vehicle CO2 emissions by three million tonnes in 2030. Replacing diesel vehicles with FCEV could also save between £100 million and £200 million a year in the cost of damage to air quality caused by vehicle emissions by 2050.
Business minister Michael Fallon said: "The transition to ultra-low emission vehicles has already begun. It has the potential to create really significant new economic opportunities for the UK, to diversify national energy supply and to decarbonise road transport. The findings demonstrate that FCEV can make a significant contribution to this."
He went on: "Successful commercialisation of the technology will require government to work in true partnership with industry. Our international rivals are looking to steal a march in this area and so UKH2Mobility recognises the importance of prompt action to ensure the potential benefits are realised by businesses and consumers in the UK.
"We already have a strong automotive sector and must ensure it stays that way. Opportunities for the UK to take a leading role in low-carbon technologies will be looked at as part of our auto industrial strategy, published later this year."
https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-business-innovation-skills(Department for Business, Innovation and Skills)