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£2m government fund to provide up to 75% off cost of FCEVs

Launched by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles, the Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) Fleet Support Scheme will provide public and private sector fleets with up to 75% off the cost of zero-emission fuel cell electric vehicles bought by next April (2017), as well as the cost of running them for up to three years.

Support will also be available for the leasing or renting of vehicles, insurance, hydrogen fuel and servicing.

The announcement was made as Transport Minister Andrew Jones opened the second in a series of 12 hydrogen refuelling stations being funded by £5m commited by the Government in 2014 through the Hydrogen for Transport Advancement Programme. The latest station is at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington. All 12 stations are expected to be open by the end of the year.

Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: “We are always looking at new ways to make the vehicles of the future cleaner, and hydrogen fuel cells are an important part of our vision for almost all cars and vans to be zero-emission by 2050.

“This funding, along with the growing network of hydrogen refuelling stations opening in England, will help businesses and the public sector to get on board with this exciting technology. This is further proof that we are leading the way in making journeys cleaner and protecting the environment.”

In response, RAC Business spokesman Simon Peevers said: “Given the range of benefits that come with running zero and low emission vehicles in terms of running costs, there is certainly the will among businesses to make a change and realise those cost savings, if they can overcome the initial outlay. So it’s welcome that the Government recognises the importance of supporting fleets to encourage the transition to zero-emission vehicles.

“Within the wider context of the fleet sector it remains to be seen whether £2million is enough to make a serious impact on encouraging businesses to upgrade their vehicles, but it is a step in the right direction as long as there is the infrastructure in place to support the new technology.”

Bids for the FCEV Fleet Support Scheme must be submitted by Monday 4 July 2016. Successful bidders will be informed later this year.

Natalie Middleton

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