Chris Grayling MP was one of the first people to drive one of 50 new Toyota Mirai hydrogen- fuelled fuel cell electric saloons that are joining the London fleet of green private hire company Green Tomato Cars. He made the short journey from the Department for Transport offices in Westminster, with Jonny Goldstone, Green Tomato Cars co-founder and Managing Director and Paul Van der Burgh, Toyota GB President and Managing Director.
Chris Grayling said: ‘I was thoroughly impressed by the Toyota Mirai today and was delighted to be the first to drive one of Green Tomato Cars’ new zero-emission vehicles. Improvements in hydrogen infrastructure over the last year and the developing partnerships between the hydrogen power providers, manufacturers of hydrogen vehicles and end users, is helping accelerate the decarbonisation of road transport.’
The new cars are being supplied with support from the UK’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV*) Hydrogen For Transport Programme and the Zero Emission Fleet vehicles For European Roll-Out (ZEFER**) programme, an EU project, funded by the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU***)
Jonny Goldstone, MD and co-founder of Green Tomato Cars comments: “We’re very proud to have pioneered hydrogen powered transport in London and are delighted with the performance of our two original Toyota Mirai. This is a unique project where investors in hydrogen technology, manufacturers of hydrogen cars and Green Tomato Cars as the end users, have come together with a commitment to make hydrogen transport work for the good of the people and the environment. We’d like to thank OLEV, the FCH JU and Toyota for their support in helping us acquire such a significant number of these innovative cars.”
Paul Van der Burgh, Managing Director and President of Toyota GB PLC commented: ‘We’re delighted that Green Tomato Cars have been happy with their Toyota Mirai cars and that they are taking 50 more. It’s clear that confidence in hydrogen powered transport is growing among end users, which is another step in the path towards a hydrogen society.’
The Mirai are expected to do the same average mileage as other cars on the Green Tomato Cars fleet, around 120-150 miles a day. A Mirai can travel up to 300 miles on a full tank of hydrogen, so the private hire cars should be refuelling every two days on average.
Green Tomato Cars was the first private hire company in Europe to take on hydrogen fuel cell cars in Europe, having had two Toyota Mirai cars on its fleet since 2015 completing over 25,000 miles a year in normal commercial operation.
Improvements in hydrogen infrastructure have increased the viability of hydrogen powered transport in the UK. Over the last year several new hydrogen fuelling stations have opened across the UK. There are a total of six stations within and around the M25. More are expected to be operational by the end of the year.
Notes to editors:
The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) is a team working across government to support the uptake for ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEV).Over £1.5 billion is being invested out to 2020 to position the UK at the global forefront of ULEV development, manufacture and use. The shift to ULEVs will contribute to economic growth and will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution on UK roads.
ZEFER (Zero Emission Fleet vehicles For European Roll-Out), is an EU project, funded by the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) which is contributing up to €20,000 per vehicle, as well as separate funding for infrastructure and related partners
This €26 million demonstration project is co-funded with €5 million from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), a public-private partnership supporting fuel cell and hydrogen energy technologies in Europe. The ZEFER project will demonstrate viable business cases for captive fleets of FCEVs in operations which can realise value from hydrogen vehicles. ZEFER will deploy 180 FCEVs in Paris, Brussels and London. 170 FCEVs will be operated as taxi or private hire vehicles and the remaining 10 funded under this project will be used by the police.
**About the FCH JU
The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) is a unique public-private partnership supporting research, technological development and demonstration activities in fuel cell and hydrogen energy technologies in Europe. Its aim is to accelerate the market introduction of these technologies, realising their potential as an instrument in achieving a carbon-lean energy system.
The three members of the FCH JU are the European commission; the fuel cell and hydrogen industries, represented by the NEW industry grouping; and the research community, represented by research grouping N.ERGHY.
This project has received funding from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No 779538. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, Hydrogen Europe, and Hydrogen Europe Research.