The number of hydrogen-powered vehicles across Europe is set to increase dramatically with the expansion of the H2ME (Hydrogen Mobility Europe) project, first unveiled in September 2015.
Announced this week, H2ME 2 will involve the deployment and operation of 1,230 fuel cell vehicles, as well as the addition of 20 extra hydrogen-refuelling stations (HRS) across the continent. The €100m project will bring together 37 partners from across Europe, and is backed by the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) with funding from the European Union Horizon 2020 programme.
“Today marks a significant day in the future of European transport,” said Ben Madden, director of Element Energy and project coordinator for H2ME 1 and H2ME 2.
“Our aim has been to help bring the key businesses and public bodies investing in hydrogen mobility in Europe together to work on the common goal of making hydrogen-fuelled transport a reality in Europe.”
Last September saw H2ME 1 put the first hydrogen infrastructure blocks in place, deploying 300 fuel cell vehicles and 29 stations throughout Europe. According to the project leaders, the goal of the new H2ME 2 programme is to expand on those foundations, while identifying any gaps that could prevent full commercialisation, as well as collating results to support future investments.
ITM Power, the UK lead on the project, will receive €5.06m under H2ME 2. It will use the funds to build out the UK refuelling network, adding three new dual pressure hydrogen-refuelling stations.
Dr Rachel Smith, executive director of ITM Power, commented: We are very excited about the role the project will play in deploying hydrogen refuelling infrastructure, passenger and commercial fuel cell electric vehicles in the UK and demonstrating the system benefits generated by using electrolytic hydrogen solutions in UK grid operations.”