The first UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association networking reception was held on the 1st of December in central London. The keynote speaker on the night was Mr Akihito Tanke from Toyota Motor Europe, who led a lively discussion on deployment pathways for fuel cell vehicles. The presence of a high rank representative of one of the world’s leading OEM’s at this event was particularly timely, given the publication of a critical report for the industry, ‘A portfolio of power-trains for Europe: A fact-based analysis’ a couple of weeks earlier.

A portfolio of power-trains for Europe: A fact-based analysis’ was launched in November 2010 in Brussels by a consortium of around thirty organisations including global companies across the passenger car value chain and Government Organisations. The analysis compares the economics, sustainability and performance of four different types of vehicles in helping achieve Europe’s 80% decarbonisation goal by 2050.

The report highlighted the FCEV as the ultimate low carbon vehicle and, in particular, as the lowest carbon solution for medium / larger cars and longer trips. Given that these car segments account for 50% of all cars, and 75% of CO2 emissions in Europe, this makes FCEVs the most effective low carbon solution for a large proportion of the car fleet, with a potential to achieve an 80% CO2 reduction in Europe by 2030 compared to today. The study also concluded that the costs of hydrogen refuelling infrastructure would be comparable to those of a charging network for battery electric vehicles, even excluding the costs of necessary upgrades to the power distribution network that the latter would involve. According to the authors of the report, the cost of hydrogen will also fall by 70% by 2025, due to higher utilisation of hydrogen infrastructure and economies of scale.

During the UK HFCA networking reception, Mr Tanke identified the UK as one of the key regions, together with Scandinavia, that is likely to follow the 2015 roll out of commercial fuel cell electric vehicles in Japan, California and Germany. The UK HFCA was much encouraged by these words, and is working hard to strengthen the role the UK has to play in building the global hydrogen economy. The Association looks forward to future collaboration opportunities with Toyota Motor Europe as well as other key stakeholders on deployment of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles and further infrastructure development in the UK.

UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association welcomes guest speaker from Toyota at its first Networking Reception