1.6 million hydrogen-powered cars could be on the road in the UK by 2030, according to a new study produced by the UK H2Mobility project.
Three UK government departments and 11 companies are collaborating on UK H2Mobility to evaluate the benefits FCEVs could provide to the UK and to create a “roadmap” for the introduction of FCEVs and hydrogen infrastructure. The report, summarizing the first phase of the project, says the group’s analysis shows that FCEVs “represent an attractive and sustainable long-term business proposition for all parties.”
Using consumer focus groups, interviews, and quantitative surveys, the authors generated a model for FCEV demand, taking cost, vehicle performance, and refueling station proliferation as the most important variables. The roadmap projects that early adopters will push FCEV sales to around 10,000 per year by 2020, which will drive down unit cost and spur refueling infrastructure development. In the following decade, FCEV costs will become competitive with combustion vehicles, it says, with annual sales of 300,000 units by 2030.
On the infrastructure side, the model projects that 65 refueling stations across the UK will be needed to get the FCEV market started. The refueling network will then expand with demand for FCEVs, with full national coverage achieved by 2030 with 1,150 refueling stations. The next phase of the project plans to develop the business case for the initial network of stations.
The roadmap also forecasts that by 2030, hydrogen production will be a profitable enterprise, with national demand at 254,000 tons per year. Just over half of the hydrogen supply will be produced through electrolysis.
London’s fuel cell buses, in operation since early 2011, have just passed 100,000 miles traveled. For the London Olympics, the city deployed five fuel cell-powered versions of its iconic black taxicabs and installed a hydrogen refueling station at Heathrow Airport.