Germany is to invest more than £200 million (Rs 1,700 crore) into hydrogen car technology and infrastructure in order to make the zero-emission technology a more viable power source for mass transport.
According to a report in German newspaper Die Welt, £209m will be spent on research and development, as well as the building of infrastructure to increase access to hydrogen refuelling points.
The report also said the German government would provide this financial support until 2026, which is four years before a potential ban on new petrol and diesel cars could be implemented, if the requests of Germany’s federal states are met.
Hydrogen car sales have so far been slow due to a lack of refuelling infrastructure and the small number of models on sale. Manufacturers of hydrogen models such as the Toyora Mirai and Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell have previously said government investment is needed in order to increase uptake.
"With electromobility and automated and connected driving, the biggest mobility revolution since the invention of the car is ahead of us," German transport minister Alexander Dobrindt told Die Welt.
The German government is yet to confirm the reports, but its ministers have been showing signs of implementing such a programme in recent months. Most recently, Germany’s deputy economy minister Rainer Baake called for all new car sales to be of emission-free vehicles by 2030.
The country is also fast moving towards a nationwide infrastructure development of hydrogen filling stations. On September 26, industry partners Daimler, Linde and OMV Deutschland inaugurated a new hydrogen station at Metzingen as part of the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP). It is to be noted that 22 public hydrogen filling stations are already in operation, 8 of them in Baden-Württemberg.
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