A fleet of close to 500 hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) have travelled more than eight million kilometres since a project to develop hydrogen refuelling stations across Europe was set up in 2015.

Hydrogen Mobility Europe (H2ME) said more than 30 hydrogen refuelling stations (HRS) had been developed across the UK, Germany, France, Scandinavia, and other European countries, and its FCEVs had travelled more than five million kilometres in 2018 alone.

The H2ME initiative aims to support the commercialisation of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies in Europe. As well as creating the world’s largest network of HRS, it is sharing best practice and standards between the 43 partners and helping to develop attractive ownership models in uses such as taxis, captive fleets, and in cities with strict environmental targets. In total, the project aims to deploy 49 HRS and 1,400 hydrogen fuel cell cars and vans by 2022.

It will be publicising more details about its project at the Hydrogen for Clean Transport mid-term conference, which will take place in Hamburg on October 25. To celebrate the expanding network of stations in Europe, hydrogen-powered vehicles will be driving to the event from across Europe, arriving in Hamburg the day before the conference begins.

Ben Madden, director at Element Energy and project lead and coordinator, said: “Governments at a national and local level are putting in place concrete targets to reduce emissions and accelerate the switch to zero-emission mobility. The H2ME project demonstrates that hydrogen can play a central role in this shift, ensuring that all road users have the option to participate in the transition, thanks to its ability to provide fast refuelling and long range. Today, we can already see an acceleration of the use of hydrogen as a fuel in heavy-duty and high-demand applications, such as taxis, delivery vehicles and trucks.”

Graham Cooley, CEO of ITM power and UK coalition lead, commented: “The UK government is now preparing to end its contribution to global warming within 30 years by setting an ambitious new target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.

“The importance of hydrogen in enabling the UK to meet this target was highlighted in the government report, which stated that ‘Low-carbon hydrogen moves from being a useful option to a key enabler. Updates to policy, alongside adoption of our recommended target, should reflect that’, reinforcing the contribution H2ME can make moving forward.”