Honda, along with leading car manufacturers, hydrogen fuel suppliers and energy consultancies have signed a £31 million agreement to develop and demonstrate technology that will help to develop the growth of hydrogen powered vehicles.
The HyFIVE project (Hydrogen For Innovative Vehicles) will see five manufacturers deploy a total of 110 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles at several locations across Europe as well as developing new clusters of hydrogen refuelling stations. It marks the largest project of its kind in Europe.
Hydrogen powered vehicles combine hydrogen gas with oxygen from the atmosphere to generate electric power. These vehicles are quieter, more fuel-efficient than petrol or diesel powered cars and emit water vapour rather than harmful greenhouse gases.
The technology allows vehicles to potentially travel 400 miles before refuelling stops as well as quicker pit stops than conventionally powered vehicles.
As infrastructure improves and technological costs come down, there is the potential for hydrogen-powered vehicles to become widely available.
Honda has been at the forefront of hydrogen fuel development over the last two decades, having carried out rigorous research and real-world testing including the development of the FCX Clarity, which became the world's first hydrogen powered production car in 2008.
"To sell this technology we need to show Londoners and the wider world that it is not science fiction. By building the vehicles and the filling stations and allowing people to kick the tyres we will be able to demonstrate that hydrogen is a viable option and that London is at the forefront of efforts to make it so," Mayor of London Boris Johnson said.
Bert De Colvenaer, Executive Director of the FCH JU (Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking), said: "With a total of 110 FCEVs and 6 new refuelling stations, HyFIVE will represent the largest single project of its kind financed by the FCH JU.
"The high level of technology readiness of this zero emission transport technology will be showcased in 5 European Member States, thus ensuring a broad geographical outreach. In addition, the project will also contribute to the build-up of the first networks at local levels necessary to support the market introduction of the vehicles in the coming years.
"With the participation of leading automakers and infrastructure providers, HyFIVE illustrates the commitment from leading industrial players in the EU and the spirit of cooperation that I am convinced will enable the success of these technologies."
Copyright Press Association 2014