Hydrogen will become a mainstream fuel in the UK by 2025, according to a new report from UKH2Mobility. Sales of hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles are expect to take off from 2025, with projections of around 10,000 sales from 2020 and 100,000 sales annually from 2025.

UKH2Mobility, a consortium of industry and government including Daimler, Toyota, Hyundai, Nissan, BOC and Morrisons, predicts that by 2030, there will be 1.6 million hydrogen-powered vehicles on British roads, with annual sales reaching 300,000 units.

It is predicted that by 2025 hydrogen fuel should cost the same as diesel, while offering zero tailpipe pollution and ‘well-to-wheel’ Co2 emissions of under 45g/km, compared with 140g/km for diesel.

Speaking this morning in Westminster, Michael Fallon, Minister of State for Business and Enterprise, said that the coalition Government was preparing to invest £400m over the next 10-15 years in order to help ‘support the market for Ultra Low Emission Vehicles’. Public money is being invested in helping establish a network of hydrogen re-fuelling stations and on supporting research and development into all the areas needed for a move to hydrogen as a mainstream fuel.

Today’s presentation, which included representatives from French industrial gases group Air Liquide and energy storage specialists ITM, was an overview of ‘Phase 1 of the hydrogen roll-out strategy’ for the UK. The ‘Phase 2’ stage is now underway. This will see UKH2Mobility developing a ‘detailed business case and framework for the rollout’.

Sources at the conference told Autocar that the industry is now pinning its hopes on hydrogen as the low-Co2 fuel of the future after the the relative failure of electric vehicles. The ability to make and store hydrogen using renewable energy and the ability to re-fuel a typical 300-mile range hydrogen car in three minutes are seen as the crucial advantages over battery-powered vehicles.