I recently had the pleasure of Tweeting Andrew at HydrogenClub.co.uk to see if he would be open to an interview about the progress of hydrogen cars in the United Kingdom. Below is our interview.
HydroKevin: What is your vision for the hydrogen highway system that is just now starting to be built in the UK?
Andrew: My vision for the hydrogen highway system is that it will provide a benchmark for future generations of transport, just as the very first motorways did for the car. It will enable those in close proximity to test, hire and purchase hydrogen driven vehicles, and those further afield to witness an inspiring change to the way in which we use and store energy. Perhaps most importantly, it will prove that hydrogen is a workable solution to diminishing fossil fuel resources and environmental challenges.
HydroKevin: Who do you see as the major players in building the hydrogen highway system?
Andrew: This is an interesting question as it is shaped partly by the way in which the highway system is being funded. One example of this would be the numerous competitions held by the Technology Strategy Board (you can visit their website at http://www.innovateuk.org/). The light-touch approach with incentives for small and medium sized technology companies is likely to bring some new competitors to the marketplace. Many of these companies are university spin-outs, meaning that they are full of new ideas and technological innovations that have yet to reach the mainstream.
I also see a role for the larger energy companies, but I believe that they are likely to come along much later down the line once the initial financial risks have been reduced.
At the moment my shortlist of major players would be:
•Revolve Technologies – because of their ability to retrofit existing ICE vehicles
•ITM Power – because of their revolutionary HFuel unit and the reduced cost of producing hydrogen
•Air Products – because they already have a foot-hold in a number of Hydrogen projects in the UK. These include developing the hydrogen refueling infrastructure for London buses and the refueling station at Loughborough University
•Glamorgan University – because they are next to the M4 and are already investing in a hydrogen engine test facility.
HydroKevin: What is your website’s goal in delivering this news to the United Kingdom and the rest of the world?
Andrew: My website’s goal is to inspire people about how hydrogen can be used in the real world to solve many of our fuel and energy storage problems. By providing a centralised point for contacts, information and resources in the UK I hope that people will come together and promote hydrogen on a wider scale.