According to the APC, the UK could be a centre of excellence globally for hydrogen fuel cells and has shared crucial insight with British members of parliament in a bid to support the growing sector.
Read more: Advanced Propulsion Centre predicts that 14GW of fuel cell stack production is needed to meet 2035 UK vehicle demand
Read more: Birmingham Centre for Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Research and TCL developing the supply chain for fuel cell vehicles
With rapid growth forecasted for the UK’s fuel cell industry, the need to strike political frameworks and investment in the sector has never been greater and could fully establish the nation as a leader in fuel cells.
The APC forecasts that by 2040 across Europe, 40% of new HGVs sold will be battery electric, 30% fuel cell and 15% hydrogen combustion.
Ian Constance, CEO of the Advanced Propulsion Centre, said, “We need to learn the lessons of the 1980s and 90s where we were caught sleeping at the wheel with lithium-ion battery production and the East Asian countries overtook us.
“Families need jobs and security and there’s an opportunity here to create and safeguard green growth in an area where the UK already has existing capability.
“We already have 15% of the fuel cell value chain radiating from UK businesses but this could be as much as 65% just by expanding on current strengths in electrochemistry and coatings or using our automotive capability to volume manufacture components like bipolar plates and stack assemblies.
“Investment will be needed to retain this leading position but we’re sharing this insight in the hope it helps industry and government make long-term strategic decisions.”
Constance continued, “The question we should be asking is whether we can afford to NOT take the opportunity. There was a time when the UK led battery cells research but we failed to capitalise on that from a manufacturing perspective.
“We are catching up with ground-breaking research and gigafactory development – AESC Envision and Britishvolt announcing new plants in the past year – and we still expect batteries to dominate the passenger car sector in the next decade or so.
“But heavy-duty applications – public transport, marine, rail and air – will need a different solution. Hydrogen will play a part, the UK could have a key role – and that means jobs and economic growth.”
North American Hydrogen Summit
H2 View is taking its events platform to America’s original clean hydrogen hub of California. Together with the California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP), we will stage our North American Hydrogen Summit in San Francisco on July 14-15.
As our summit theme Building Bridges: Hydrogen hubs and investment suggests, the event will explore the $8bn of funding announced to create at least four regional hydrogen hubs in the US. These hubs will turbo-charge the nation’s progress toward heavy trucking and industrial sectors that run without producing carbon pollution – and they may just provide the path forward to a hydrogen-fuelled future.
With California and Texas vying to be America’s hydrogen capital today, where are the hubs of tomorrow? Further still, what can other states, and countries, learn from California’s success story? And how can we build bridges to a successful flow of international investment?
Full information about this event including attendance and sponsorship packages can be found here.