As part of the HyFive project, five manufacturers have agreed to deploy a total of 110 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in Europe with the goal of developing new clusters of hydrogen refueling stations.

Leading motor manufacturers, hydrogen fuel suppliers, the Mayor of London’s Office and energy consultancies from around the globe are signing up, said the HyFive project.

HyFive stands for Hydrogen For Innovative Vehicles.

The initial European locations will be Bolzano, Copenhagen, Innsbruck, London, Munich and Stuttgart.

Other locations are being sought for three new hydrogen stations in London, one in Aarhus and in Odense (Denmark) and one in Innsbruck (Austria). They are expected to be operational by 2015, by which time some of the manufacturers in the partnership will have started to put hydrogen fuelled cars on sale in some European markets.

The Mayor of London’s Office is coordinating the £31 million project, which has been signed by BMW, Daimler, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota as well as hydrogen fuel companies including Air Products, Copenhagen Hydrogen Network, ITM Power, Linde and OMV. Other signatories include Element Energy, PE INTERNATIONAL, the Institute for Innovative Technology and the European Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking.

HyFive said the motor manufacturers who are part of this project are working on developing and demonstrating hydrogen powered fuel cell cars. The prospect of these becoming more widely available is now seen as increasingly likely as the currently high cost of the technology falls and hydrogen powered vehicles become affordable.  Supporters of the new technology point to the rapid re-fuelling times for hydrogen cars and their potential to cover over four hundred miles before needing to be re-fuelled. They also believe that fuel cells will have the ability to be scaled up to run larger vehicles such as buses or trucks.

“To sell this technology we need to show Londoners and the wider world that it is not science fiction,” said the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. “By building the vehicles and the filling stations and allowing people to kick the tires 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.”

Hydrogen infrastructure will be built across several countries as part of this European project. Filling stations will be built and operated in Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Austria and Italy, as well as in London. HyFive  added an advantage for the new technology is that these stations will share internationally agreed fuel and re-fuelling standards. All of the partners in the project see the initial investment to build small clusters of stations as key to gaining the research knowledge that will demonstrate the viability of hydrogen fuelled vehicles.