In April 2008, I had talked about how the University of Birmingham, UK was building the country’s only active hydrogen fueling station. The London station had been dismantled a few years earlier. The Birmingham hydrogen fueling station would support a few microcabs and presumably some of the 70 Honda FCVs that London had ordered as police vehicles.
And, then in September 2008 I talked about how the University of Birmingham, UK was to receive 5 fuel cell Microcabs. I also mentioned how London Major Boris Johnson had cancelled an order for 60 hydrogen powered cars.
Today, it seems that the good mayor has made a reversal of his decision in that he would like to assemble 150 hydrogen cars and 6 hydrogen fueling stations around London in the run up to the 2012 Olympics. This hydrogen highway system around London and beyond would emulate the system started in California.
Five hydrogen powered buses and 20 hydrogen-powered black taxis will also be part of the clean fuel agenda. In addition, Major Johnson has committed to bring onboard electric cars and wire the city with 25,000 recharging stations.
The mayor believes that within 20 years, one in three British cars (about 10 million out of 31 million) will be powered by hydrogen. Now, why is the good major reversing his position?
One reason may be to help his country conform to the Kyoto protocol. Another reason would be the same as the Chinese at their 2008 Olympics which is to show the world how green their city is becoming. Another reason could be similar political pressure the Obama administration has faced when Congress decided to reinstate the hydrogen budget that had been slashed.
No matter the reason, it’s good to see that top political leaders are taking another serious look at hydrogen vehicles as a way to reduce emissions and reduce reliance on foreign fuels (and create well-paying green jobs).