Government Announces £11 Million Hydrogen Fuel Plans, De Ja Vu?

Government Announces £11 Million Hydrogen Fuel Plans, De Ja Vu? image


Hydrogen is the next big thing!

The government has recently announced an £11 million investment into hydrogen fuel plans, apparently this investment is part of a bigger picture for the UK to become the leader in ultra-low emission vehicles across the globe…

We’re personally a little sceptical about this, and rightly so to, whilst electric and hydrogen new and used cars are definitely cleaner and offer several advantages. A little history tells us that before long, Electric cars will be classed as ‘killers in disguise’ within the next 5 years; just like Petrol, and just like Diesel… What is to then stop Hydrogen become the killer?

As the press have made everyone aware of recently, when Diesel engines went mainstream, the government pushed them and said these were the way forward…

As a result, many people decided to sell their petrol-powered car and buy a diesel instead. There were some sacrifices, of course. There was a bit of clatter on start-up and power was lacking at the top end, but, on the upside, trips to the pumps were less frequent, annual running costs were down and, best of all, the Arctic was full once more of smiling polar bears, rolling in the snow and playing with their cublets. – Jeremy Clarkson – Top Gear Magazine, October 2014

Only to backtrack a few years later and say as Jeremy Clarkson put it… *Sarcasm Alert*

“if you stand on a street corner on a sunny day and watch a diesel-powered vehicle pull away, you can see a haze, and that this haze is made up of unburnt particulates which will work their way into our children’s lungs and kill them. They say diesel soot will also cause deformities and death, and that walking down Oxford Street is the same as smoking a thousand cigarettes an hour for two hundred years.”.  – Top Gear Magazine, October 2014

Electric cars are slowly starting to kick off, but will you switch?

The same support from the government is happening for electric cars, whilst they are great. They’re also very expensive to start off with… We’ve read that you have to drive 164,000 miles to recuperate the buying cost comparing to petrol (Source: Forbes). That is however in America, where fuel is fairly cheap. No doubt in 5 years time the government will be saying Electric cars are the killers in disguise, probably due to the fact they can no longer dispose of the batteries safely and efficiently.

So anyway back to it, this £11 million investment is said to provide the means to help establish up to 15 hydrogen fuel stations by the end of 2015 and include £2 million of public sector funding for hydrogen vehicles. Hydrogen also has several disadvantages as well, but we won’t go into them as its more of the cost of transporting/generating, which we’d like to think will come cheaper as Hydrogen fuel becomes more common.

Of the £11 million investment, 68pc is meant to come from the government, the rest is from the car/fuel/supermarket industry. With this it’s no surprise that Toyota has decide to make the UK the birthplace of its new FCEV when it goes on sale next year.

What do we say about these new engines coming into play?

Engine innovation is a brilliant thing however, take electric cars for example- We can’t help but feel that the paranoia which comes with buying a Battery powered car such as ‘when is the next fill up station coming up’ and the half hour charge/refill times etc, is a little off putting to buyers; and how else do you get the customer to convert to something that isn’t necessarily better for them but better for everyone else? Get the government to wade in of course and cause mass hysteria!

In hindsight, you shouldn’t be put off buying any ‘old’ engines. Low powered diesel engines are absolutely fine as are petrol, it’s the big diesel trucks that are causing the issues alongside EU restrictions on emissions. So going green with other, new vehicles engines is great but we think until there are more facilities to accommodate the new fuel types and with all the new low emission Petrol and Diesel engines that are flooding the used car market there’s no real reason to convert yet.