Recently, Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, UK, has announced that the UK government is planning to try out hydrogen fuel cells for the bus network of an entire town. This announcement comes after the Department of Transport granted a sum of £400,000 for the Hydroflex project, jointly run by Porterbrook and the University of Birmingham, and aims to bring the first hydrogen train to the UK main lines in the coming weeks.
For decades, car manufacturers have been unleashing the potential of fuel cell technology with Detroit’s General Motors having assessed its hydrogen-powered Electrovan for the first time in 1966. However, UK has registered a mere 169 hydrogen cars so far.
Studies state that the chemical reaction in the fuel cell involves the combination of positively charged hydrogen ions with oxygen from the air and gives water as the only byproduct. The electricity generated in this process can be used to run motors in any electric vehicle, thus, providing a fuel source with zero toxic exhaust emissions. This process demands hydrogen produced from clean sources so that it is carbon neutral.
The transport facility on RV1 bus route in London has been reported to use hydrogen buses for the past eight years which have, till date, clocked up over 1 million miles. Buses run on regular routes removing the biggest barrier of the lack of a network of filling stations across the country.
The Chief Executive of ITM, Graham Cooley, has stated that the revolutionary reduction in the costs of renewable energy has made hydrogen a veritable solution across the economy. He has further stated that carbon-neutral hydrogen production is a crucial prospect offered by wind and solar-powered electrolysis and is an effective method of storing unpredictable renewable energy. The green hydrogen market has been expanding exponentially and the entire world is moving to net zero, added Cooley.