New research has suggested that there could be as many as 1.6 million hydrogen-powered cars on roads across the UK by 2030.
The report, which was carried out for both the government and the car industry, shows that there would be potential for over 300,000 sales of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) per year once mass production is a reality and costs have come down.
The study, which was conducted by the UKH2Mobility project, found that a proper co-ordinated network of hydrogen refuelling stations is necessary but Business Minister Michael Fallon says the process of moving to a new type of vehicle has already started.
"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," he said.
The research suggests a network covering national trunk routes and heavily populated areas first, with 65 stations sufficient to handle early vehicle sales, before growing in line with the number of FCEVs on the road and reaching 1,150 sites by 2030.
Annual total vehicle CO2 emissions in the UK can reportedly be cut by three million tonnes by 2030 and if diesel vehicles are replaced by FCEVs, £100-200 million per year could be saved in the cost of damage to air quality caused by vehicle emissions by 2050.
The report indicates that up to 10% of people buying new cars would consider hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) and their popularity will increase as more models are unveiled and the fuelling network matures.
Copyright Press Association 2013