The UK's Office for Low Emission Vehicles has launched the Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) Fleet Support Scheme competition to provide public and private sector fleets with up to 75 per cent off the cost of zero-emission fuel cell electric vehicles bought by next April (2017). The scheme will also cover the cost of running them for up to three years.
The support would also extend to the leasing or renting of vehicles, insurance, hydrogen fuel and servicing.
The announcement was made as transport minister, Andrew Jones opened the second of 12 hydrogen refuelling stations, at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington.
The stations are being funded by the government through the Hydrogen for Transport Advancement Programme. All 12 stations are expected to open by the end of the year.
Jones said, ''We are always looking at new ways to make the vehicles of the future cleaner, and hydrogen fuel cells are an important part of our vision for almost all cars and vans to be zero-emission by 2050.
''This funding, along with the growing network of hydrogen refuelling stations opening in England, will help businesses and the public sector to get on board with this exciting technology. This is further proof that we are leading the way in making journeys cleaner and protecting the environment.''
The £2-million fund would allow local authorities, health trusts, fire brigades, police forces and private businesses to bid for cash and switch to using hydrogen-fuelled vehicles.
The fund is expected to triple the number of hydrogen-fuelled cars on UK roads by Spring 2017.
The FCEV scheme follows the government's commitment in 2014 to spend £5 million, on setting up 12 hydrogen refuelling stations through the Hydrogen for Transport Advancement Programme.
FCEVs do not vent CO2 or other pollutants, and the only byproduct is water vapour. On a full tank FCEVs are capable of driving over 300 miles, while refuelling at a hydrogen gas pump takes only five minutes.