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Hydrogen-fuelled vehicles developed

Combustion-engined vehicles could be adapted to use hydrogen fuels, due to a project between two British technology companies to put hydrogen-powered emission-free vehicles on the road.

ITM Power, Europe’s largest electrolyser and fuel cell development company, and Roush Technologies, an automotive design, engineering and development groups, have signed a co-operative agreement which could see CO2-free, hydrogen-fuelled commercial vehicles being marketed in Britain within months.

Roush Technologies will be responsible for both adapting existing internal combustion-engined vehicles and researching the development of new power units to utilise hydrogen fuel.

ITM Power will provide the refuelling solution by enabling vehicle operators to generate their own hydrogen supplies. The company’s development of a hydrogen refuelling station, currently in the final stage of development, will overcome the current lack of a national hydrogen station infrastructure in the UK.

A patented electrolyser, due to enter production in Sheffield later this year, is at the heart of the refuelling station. It can produce hydrogen from water and either off-peak or 'renewable' energy – electricity generated by wind, wave or solar power. Unlike petrol or diesel, when hydrogen burns it releases no CO2, merely water vapour.

Jim Heathcote, ITM Power chief executive, commented: "This is a significant co-operative agreement between two companies who are committed to bringing practical hydrogen power into the automotive market place within a dramatically reduced timeframe.

"Whilst it initially involves the commercial vehicle sector, it will demonstrate the wider potential of hydrogen technology to help cut CO2 emissions and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels."

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