The Metropolitan Police has signed a contract with hydrogen fuelling specialist ITM Power as it seeks to boost the number of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles operating in its fleet.
The Met, which began a trial of Suzuki Burgman Fuel Cell Hydrogen scooters in the capital last year (see airqualitynews.com story), is seeking to procure around 550 zero or ultra-low emission vehicles across its fleet by 2020.
This includes the recent addition of 11 Toyota Mirai fuel cell vehicles which were added to the fleet last month.
The only tailpipe emission the vehicles produce is water â€“ a by-product of the fuel cell process, turning hydrogen into electricity to power the vehicle, meaning that they are cleaner than any petrol or diesel vehicle.
On a tank of fuel, each car will be able to cover approximately 300 miles, the manufacturer claims.
ITM has fuelling stations at Teddington and Rainham which could provide fuel for the vehicles.
Commenting on the contract, Jiggs Bharij, head of fleet services, Metropolitan Police said; â€œWe are working closely with ITM Power to roll out our new fleet of zero emission vehicles. The quick refuelling time, comparable to that of a traditional internal combustion engine vehicle, and long driving range make Toyotaâ€™s hydrogen powered fuel cell electric vehicle an ideal zero emission response vehicle.â€
Jon Hunt, alternative fuels manager at Toyota GB, added: â€œWe are delighted that the Met Police have selected the Toyota Mirai as the new zero emission response vehicle of choice. The emergency services, taxi fleets, and other return to base vehicle operators are important early adopters of hydrogen technology which will help pave the way for more widespread adoption of FCEVs. â€œ
ITM Power chief executive, Dr Graham Cooley, said: â€œI am delighted to announce our continued partnership with the Met Police in assisting with the roll out of their new fleet of FCEV response vehicles. This demonstrates significant progress in ITM Powerâ€™s strategic objective of providing refuelling services to operators of return to base FCEV fleets with heavy cycle usage.
â€œEstablishing the infrastructure necessary to support these types of users is a first step in building out a national network of green hydrogen refuelling stations, which is an essential precursor to the large-scale adoption of FCEVs in the longer term. Working alongside our partners, Shell, Toyota, Honda and Hyundai, we are now in a strong position to lead this large-scale adoption in the UK.â€
ITM Power currently has 12 hydrogen refuelling stations in the UK, five are open to the public and three and due to open in mid-2018.
Four further stations, are expected to open in 2019. These stations have been funded by the European Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (the FCH JU), Innovate UK and the UK Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).