The world’s largest fleet of zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell electric police vehicles is being set up by the Metropolitan Police Service.

Eleven Toyota Mirai cars will be equipped to work as both marked and unmarked vehicles for overt and covert response, as well as general purpose use.

The only tailpipe emission they will produce is water – a by-product of the fuel cell process, turning hydrogen into electricity to power the vehicle.

The cars currently have access to five hydrogen filling stations across the capital – a number that’s set to increase – and will be able to cover approximately 300 miles on a tank of fuel.

Met commander Neil Jerome said: “We are delighted to have taken delivery of 11 of these cars to support policing in London. They are our first entirely zero emission response vehicles and this is an exciting development for us.

“The Met is committed, alongside the Mayor, to making the service as environmentally friendly as possible and a big part of that work is ensuring our fleet is green. Since late 2015 we have been actively looking at ways to hybridise and electrify our fleet as well as exploring other new technologies such as hydrogen.

“This is enabling us to make great strides towards our ambition of procuring 550 vehicles as zero or ultra-low emission by 2020.”

Shirley Rodrigues, deputy mayor for environment and energy, said: “It is fantastic to see the Met’s first ever zero-emission vehicles take to the streets of London. Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles have an important role to play in helping lower harmful emissions and improve air quality on our roads and the Mayor’s Hydrogen London partnership is working to develop the use of this technology in the capital.”

She added that the capital’s emergency services were supporting the Mayors’s work towards becoming a zero-carbon city by 2050.”

Mark Roden, director of operations for Toyota GB, said: “We are delighted that the Met Police has added Mirai vehicles to its fleet. The distinctive livery of the Met’s marked cars means even more public visibility for hydrogen powered cars in and around London. This is proof that organisations are seeing the future of hydrogen power for zero emission fleets.”

The project for the Metropolitan Police Service to establish and operate a fleet of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles has received grant funding from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking. This joint undertaking receives support from the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, Hydrogen Europe and the New European Research Grouping on Fuel Cells and Energy.