Praise for Parliament decision

ITM Power today welcomed the decision by the European Parliament to encourage the use of hydrogen-powered cars.

On Wednesday the European Parliament adopted a legislative report that proposes to lay down harmonised type-approval for hydrogen-powered vehicles for the first time and speed up the introduction of hydrogen cars, vans, trucks and buses on roads throughout Europe.

European Commission vice-president Günter Verheugen, who is responsible for enterprise and industry, said: ‘The agreement in the European Parliament is a big step forward in the introduction of hydrogen vehicles.

‘They have the potential to make Europe’s air cleaner and reduce its dependency on fossil fuels. Setting common standards will ensure high safety for citizens and will boost the competitiveness of European manufacturers. Now the EU Member Sates will have the final say and I hope for their support.’

ITM Power, an electrolyser and fuel cell company with a research and manufacturing facility in Sheffield, recently demonstrated how a conventional petrol-engined Ford Focus could be converted to run on hydrogen.

The firm’s major breakthrough has been the development of a hydrogen Home Refuelling Station that will allow home users to produce their own hydrogen fuel simply, overcoming the lack of a filling station infrastructure.

ITM’s Home Refuelling Station uses water and electricity – either off-peak domestic mains supply or electricity produced from wind, wave or solar power – to make hydrogen. An overnight charge is said to produce enough hydrogen for its converted Ford Focus to complete a typical daily commuting journey with the option to switch back on to petrol for longer trips.