HYDROGEN-powered fuel-cell technology is full of promise but always seems to be some way over the horizon. But fleet-leasing company Arval UK appears to be looking into the future by educating the next generation on this technology in parallel to offering hydrogen fuel-cell powered cars to customers.
As part of a drive to support organisations’ adoption of zero-emission transport solutions, Arval joined forces with Ecuity and the Hydrogen Hub partners to launch the virtual teaching resource in March 2019 to help support schools and colleges in need of material to educate pupils on zero-emission technology.
The virtual pack has been downloaded more than 31,000 times, potentially reaching around 340,000 pupils in less than two years. Given a five star rating by teachers, the pack was initially trialled in Swindon at the Nova Hreod Academy, amongst others, and is now used in schools across the country.
Nova Hreod Academy Head of Science, Dr Jannine Clapp, said that having the opportunity to see first-hand how technology can be used for cars in a real world application was a real bonus for triple science students.
“The lesson plan along with the excellent resources for schools, created by Arval, Hydrogen Hub and Fuel Cell Systems, have helped support our scientists of the future, even whilst teaching online this year.”
Arval UK, Business Manager, Paul Marchment, said the company has more than 175,000 vehicles on its UK fleet and customers are rapidly adopting zero-emission technology such as electric cars, vans and a small number of hydrogen fuel-cell powered cars too.
“The key to normalising zero-emission technology lies as much with the next generation as the current one and so helping students to learn about hydrogen as a viable method of powering vehicles – as well as its other benefits – is something we’re proud to support. The pack being downloaded more than 30,000 times, with more than 18,000 in the last year, is incredible.”
The teaching resource is available to view and download for free on the teacher resource website TES.
The Hydrogen Hub launched in January 2016 and has since driven millions of pounds of external investment in hydrogen and fuel cell projects in its region, with more than 50 different organisations participating in working groups and projects.
In February Enterprise Rent-A-Car announced it was piloting 17 hydrogen fuel cell electric cars. Working closely with Toyota, Enterprise is offering the Mirai saloon to existing corporate customers across the country via Enterprise Car Club members and employees to explore how emerging technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells can be deployed in real world scenarios. See: Enterprise Takes On Hydrogen-Powered Toyotas To Explore Viability
UK Government Announces £30 Million Hydrogen And Battery Technology Funding
Pioneering research into battery technology, the electric vehicle supply chain and hydrogen vehicles is to be backed by over £30 million of government funding, Minister for Investment Gerry Grimstone announced on the 30th March.
Twenty two studies will receive a share of £9.4 million, including proposals to build a plant in Cornwall that will extract lithium for use in electric vehicle batteries, a plant to build specialised magnets for electric vehicle motors in Cheshire and lightweight hydrogen storage for cars and vans in Loughborough.
The government-backed Faraday Institution is also committing the first year of a £22.6 million programme to continue its work to further improve the safety, reliability and sustainability of batteries.
This funding comes ahead of the phasing out of the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, as pledged in the government’s 10 Point Plan for a green industrial revolution. Research into alternative ways to power vehicles is a fundamental part of this transition, ensuring the UK remains a world leader in automotive technology and boosting jobs and skills in regions leading the way.