The UKH2Mobility hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles initiative in the UK has been launched.
The government has teamed up with utility, gas, infrastructure and global car manufacturing companies on the project, which aims to ensure the UK is well-positioned for the commercial roll-out of the vehicles.
"The UK is proving itself to be a key early market for ultra-low emission vehicles, with growing numbers of electric and plug-in hybrids appearing on our roads," said Business Minister Mark Prisk at the launch of UKH2Mobility at the Royal Society in London.
"The government is supporting this market by investing £400 million to support the development, demonstration and deployment of low and ultra-low emission vehicles."
The group will evaluate the potential for hydrogen as a fuel for ultra-low carbon vehicles in the UK before developing an action plan for an anticipated roll-out to consumers in 2014/15.
The project will analyse in detail the specific UK case for the introduction of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles as one of a number of solutions to decarbonise road transport and quantify the potential emissions benefits.
It will also aim to review the investments required to commercialise the technology, including refuelling infrastructure, and to identify what is required to make the UK a leading global player in hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle manufacturing.
"Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles are increasingly being recognised as one of the viable options as we move to a lower-carbon motoring future," Prisk added.
"They are highly efficient, can be fuelled in minutes, travel an equivalent range to a conventional combustion engine, and have zero tail-pipe emissions.
"The UK has a number of world-class companies that are developing exciting technologies in both the hydrogen energy and automotive value chains and it is therefore vitally important that we identify what is required to make these cars a realistic proposition for UK consumers."