A new government after this year’s UK general election needs to be pressured to deliver an effective hydrogen van strategy, according to FleetCheck.
Managing director of the firm, Peter Golding, said there was “huge potential” for hydrogen to play a part in future fleet zero emissions strategies for light commercial vehicles – and more needed to be done to support its adoption.
He said it was “not a political comment” to say we will have a new government, and the moment “will provide an opportunity for change”.
Golding said: “The truth is that one of the victories that this government can claim over the last few years is the rate of electrification by car fleets. Their taxation strategy and other measures means that the average company car is now very likely to be an EV.
“However, it has been a zero emissions all-eggs-in-one-basket approach concentrating on EVs and, while there is some support for hydrogen in their planning, it is pretty limited, and there is almost nothing that looks at the potential for van fleets.
“The hydrogen refuelling infrastructure that exists across the UK, for example, is almost non-existent. There are plans to build 40 or so stations in support of truck and bus operators but the whole approach is very much based on larger commercial vehicles and buses.
“This is an issue because many van fleets are discovering very real limits to electrification when it comes to range and payload, and hydrogen is a potential zero emissions alternative with real promise.”
Golding added that the arrival of the Vauxhall Vivaro hydrogen van, which offered pump-style refueling and a 250 mile range indicated the possible shift.
He continued that a new government should provide infrastructure for such vehicles, while ensuring the price of hydrogen is competitive with other fuel sources.
He said: “A scheme to put say 200 hydrogen stations in place across the UK in the next couple of years would make an enormous difference to the viability of vehicles like the Vivaro and others that could follow.
“For fleets that are struggling with electric van adoption, a future government that is willing to back hydrogen could make a massive difference.”
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