London Mayor Boris Johnson has launched a plan to create the UK’s first “hydrogen highway” by building a network of hydrogen filling stations throught the capital (link).
As part of the scheme, a pilot fleet of around 150 hydrogen cars, five buses and 20 black taxis will be established in advance of the 2012 London Olympics.
Johnson has gone on record as saying that he wants the UK to become a global leader in fuel cell technology and his team have made the ambitious claim that by 2029 up to one in three of the 31m cars on Britain’s roads could be fuelled by hydrogen.
The plan, loosely based on a similar scheme introduced in California by Arnold Schwarzenegger, the state’s governor, will be rolled out alongside a scheme to introduce 25,000 electric car ‘charge points’ throughout the city’s streets.
Speaking about the scheme, Johnson told reporters, “Harnessing low-carbon technology is key to solving the pressing issues of energy security, cutting climate change emissions and improving air quality. With electric vehicles gearing up to become a mainstream choice in a few years’ time, we are creating the right conditions for them to flourish.”
Deputy London mayor and chairman of the London Hydrogen Board Kit Malthouse said, “We think it’s going to be pretty big. We plan an initial network of six or so hydrogen fuelling stations around the capital. We would then be able to fuel the next generation of vehicles.”
In view of the hugely ambitious claims for the large-scale adoption of hydrogen transport by 2029, it will be interesting to observe whether this enthusiasm for sustainable transport will be sustained once the mass publicity surrounding the 2012 Olympics has faded into memory.