HyFIVE project to roll out electric cars across Europe

A new European project will see 110 hydrogen fuel cell electric cars deployed around Europe in a bid to demonstrate the value of the sustainable vehicles.

The Mayor of London’s Office is coordinating the project – dubbed HyFIVE – and will collaborate with manufacturers like BMW, Honda, Daimler, Hyundai and Toyota as well as energy companies such as Air Products, Copenhagen Hydrogen Network, ITM Power, Linde and OMV. The initiative will aim to show that fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) represent a viable future for motoring.

If the HyFIVE project has the desired effects then there will be implications for the rest of the industry. Namely, car dealerships and repairers will need to account for the increased number of these cars, something that will need to be reflected in their motor trade insurance policy; if a firm wishes to start catering to the growing electric car market then they will need to make sure their insurance policy covers this type of vehicle.

An investment of €38 million (£31.5 million) has been made into the project, with European Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) accounting for €18 million of that and the industrial partners supplying the rest. As part of the HyFIVE project, 110 FCEVs will be supplied to European cities including London, Copenhagen, Bolzano and Munich. Refuelling stations will also be built to serve the electric cars.

Fuel cell technology uses hydrogen gas combined with oxygen from the atmosphere to generate electric power with only water vapour being emitted. The new technology, which importantly is becoming more affordable, allows the vehicles to be refuelled far more quickly than previous electric cars and enables them to cover more than 400 miles between fuelling sessions.