A joint government-industry study published today says there could be one and a half million hydrogen-powered cars on the road by 2030.
The interim report was published by the UKH2Mobility project, which was formed to bring together local businesses from the automotive, energy, infrastructure and retail sectors with the Government.
The study has found that up to 10 per cent of new car customers will be receptive to fuel cell vehicles when first introduced thanks to its environmental credentials and the newness of the technology.
The report also says that annual sales of hydrogen cars will approximately reach 300,000 as the initial uptake progresses and the fuelling network matures.
The enclosed 'roadmap' in the report, which shows how the vehicles and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure will be introduced into the UK, estimates that annual total vehicle CO2 emissions will be reduced by three million tonnes in 2030.
Fuel costs will be competitive with diesel according to the report, and manufacturers such as Toyota are already looking to the future of hydrogen-efficient vehicles.
Akihito Tanke, Vice President, Research and Development, Toyota Motor Europe recently said: "As manufacturers reach the point of bringing the first FCEVs to market, it is important that all interested parties work together to ensure their benefits can be appreciated and realised through co-ordinated dialogue between industry partners and government bodies."
"UKH2Mobility's Phase 1 findings provide valuable resources and intelligence to help us secure these advantages and we look forward to participating in Phase 2 to further confirm the potential of hydrogen as a low carbon fuel in the UK."
The final report of Phase 1 is due to be published in March, with phase 2 set to use the information and roadmap produced to develop a business case for participants to commit to.