UK Hydrogen Highway, a road to nowhere?..

UK ministers will reveal plans for a network of refuelling stations along the M4, between London and South Wales.  This will allow all the UK’s hydrogen powered vehicle owners to top up their tanks, as long as this is your regular route of course.  For bikers your road weapon of choice will be Suzuki’s Burgman hydrogen fuel cell scooter…

It sounds good from an eco-perspective, but is it a case of the government backing the wrong horse in terms of vehicle technology just to boost their green credentials?  Personally speaking hydrogen is the wrong choice for such a costly investment of public funds.  The energy required to produce it negates any benefit, mostly clean exhaust emissions, from the vehicle and it is hard to get to market and store.  While there are some gains in range over purely electric vehicles this is closing all the time, and battery efficiency is also improving.  The other advantage is that when you charge a battery it will hold it’s power a lot longer than a hydrogen fuel cell.  Fill your fuel cell on a Monday and don’t use it all by the end of the week, and you’ll find it’s gone anyway, as hydrogen leaks through the walls of its container over time, wonderful.

There is a growing acceptance of electric bikes and most major manufacturers are working on one or two concepts with Yamaha’s Gen-Ryu still looking pretty good.

More importantly the infrastructure to charge them exists and it isn’t costly to add a socket, even a high capacity one, to a garage forecourt, work place car park, or pole on the pavement.  Unfortunately the UK government yet again wastes public money on bad green advice rather than taking a more informed long-term look on environmental issues.

Wonder if there’s a minister on the board of the company doing the H2 installations? hmmmm….


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