The Department for Transport and Office for Low Emission Vehicles Plans have today announced a £2 million fund to encourage more businesses to switch to hydrogen-fuelled vehicles.
The Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) Fleet Support Scheme will allow local authorities, health trusts, police forces, fire brigades and private companies to bid for funds to add hydrogen-powered vehicles to their fleets.
The £2 million fund, launched by the government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), is hoped to shift up to 100 extra hydrogen fuel cell cars and vans onto UK roads by next spring – the equivalent of tripling the number of vehicles currently in use.
The new fund comes after the government committed £5 million in 2014 through the Hydrogen for Transport Advancement Programme for 12 hydrogen refuelling stations.
Today, Transport Minister Andrew Jones opened the second of these stations at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington. All 12 stations are expected to be open by the end of the year, which is a significant step towards a national network.
Transport Minister Andrew Jones said, “We are always looking at new ways to make the vehicles of the future cleaner, and hydrogen fuel cells are an important part of our vision for almost all cars and vans to be zero-emission by 2050.”
“This funding, along with the growing network of hydrogen refuelling stations opening in England, will help businesses and the public sector to get on board with this exciting technology. This is further proof that we are leading the way in making journeys cleaner and protecting the environment.”
Fuel-cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) emit no CO2 or other harmful pollutants, and the only by-product is pure water vapour. They also offer a driving range of more than 300 miles, and can be refuelled in 5 minutes using a hydrogen gas pump similar to petrol pumps.
The UK is one of only 5 launch markets for these vehicles: Toyota and Hyundai each have a single FCEV model for sale in the UK – the Mirai and the iX35 Fuel Cell respectively - with more to come.
Two streams: public sector and private sector fleets
The competition is open to public sector fleets and to individual private enterprise fleets (up to a ceiling of €200,000 support).
The money will cover up to 75% of the costs of new vehicles bought by next April (2017), as well as the cost of running them for up to 3 years. Support will also be available for the leasing or renting of vehicles, insurance, hydrogen fuel and servicing.
Bids should present a clear plan for deploying hydrogen-fuelled vehicles and managing their use to ensure that utilisation is high.
The deadline for bids for funding is 4 July 2016 and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) will be holding a workshop for potential applicants on 27 May (see below). The aim is to announce successful bidders at the beginning of August 2016.
Registration for information seminar and webinar
OLEV will hold an information seminar for potential bidders on 27 May. If you would like to attend the seminar/webinar please email olev.enquiries@Olev.gsi.gov.uk, titling your email "FCEV Support Scheme Seminar Registration".
Places will be limited and allocated on a first come first served basis. OLEV reserves the right to limit attendance to one representative per organisation.
Bids for the FCEV Fleet Support Scheme must be submitted by Monday 4 July 2016. Successful bidders will be informed later this year.