A pioneering deal worth £31 million is being signed by Honda, coordinated by the Mayor of London's office, that aims to make hydrogen fuel call cars a reality.
The project, named HyFive (Hydrogen For Innovative Vehicles), will be the largest of its kind in Europe. Teaming up with Honda are hydrogen fuel suppliers and energy consultants from around the world. Honda is one of five manufacturers who have agreed to produce 110 hydrogen fuel cell cars and develop hydrogen-refueling stations.
Hydrogen fuel cell cars combine oxygen with the atmosphere and don't produce any harmful tailpipe emissions, only water vapour. They also have the potential to be twice as fuel efficient as current vehicles offering over 400 miles before a re-fuel.
Honda has been working on fuel cell cars for years with its FCX Clarity made back in 2008. Thanks to lower development costs it should now be easier than ever to bring these cars to market. Honda's next generation FCEV fuel cell car will be launched in Europe in 2016.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "To sell this technology we need to show Londoners and the wider world that it is not science fiction. By building the vehicles and the filling stations and allowing people to kick the tyres we will be able to demonstrate that hydrogen is a viable option and that London is at the forefront of efforts to make it so."
Bert De Colvenaer, executive director of the FCH JU (Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking), said: "With a total of 110 FCEVs and six new refuelling stations, HyFIVE will represent the largest single project of its kind financed by the FCH JU. The high level of technology readiness of this zero emission transport technology will be showcased in five European Member States, thus ensuring a broad geographical outreach. In addition, the project will also contribute to the build-up of the first networks at local levels necessary to support the market introduction of the vehicles in the coming years. With the participation of leading automakers and infrastructure providers, HyFIVE illustrates the commitment from leading industrial players in the EU and the spirit of cooperation that I am convinced will enable the success of these technologies."