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Fleet Vehicles – an alternative source of power?

The London Hydrogen Partnership (LHP) is working in conjunction with London boroughs and private landowners to deliver “at least six refuelling stations” by 2012 to service hydrogen powered vehicles.

Whilst one such station is already under construction in east London, the action plan published this week reveals that the LHP aims to have all six fully operational within the next two years.

Boris Johnson, London's mayor commented on the plans saying “We are ploughing millions into plans to encourage the widespread uptake of electric vehicles, to boost cycling, to expand the use of hybrid bus technology to make London a more pleasant and less polluted city.”

Hydrogen vehicles emit no pollution during operation, only water vapour is emitted via their 'exhaust'. However, in order to make the transport completely carbon neutral, the hydrogen fuel needs to be sourced from renewal sources: once this can be achieved, the LHP believes that cities will see “huge benefits in improving air quality, cutting carbon emissions and reducing dependence of fossil fuels.”

Meanwhile, for fleet operators, the ever escalating fuel costs continue to cause severe headaches. We are years away from hydrogen vehicles becoming the norm – and then we will all no doubt be jostling for positions at the refuelling stations! Somehow the picture is a little bit “Star Wars” in concept, but then petrol driven cars probably seemed just as far fetched when horses were still the regular mode of transport. We've almost gone full circle really – back to a non-pollutant transport solution: talk about re-inventing the wheel!

Posted on 2nd May, 2010