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Hydrogen Powered Cars in the UK

Hydrogen molecules graphic

It was once predicted by the government that there could be 1.5 million hydrogen-powered cars in the UK by 2030. That is unlikely to happen now, but electric cars that run on hydrogen are a viable alternative to battery powered electric vehicles (BEVs) and may also be a greener option too.

With the sale of new petrol and diesel cars banned after 2035, EVs that run on lithium ion batteries are not the only choice for zero emission driving. In this guide we look at how a hydrogen-powered car works, what refuelling is like and what the future might hold for hydrogen-powered cars.

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The growing interest in eco-friendly cars

Chargers plugged into two electric cars at charge station

There is no question that environmentally friendly cars are becoming more popular. In a sense they have to be. In the UK the sale of new petrol and diesel cars are banned after 2030, so soon an electric vehicle will be the only choice if you want to buy a new car. Consumers are increasingly seeing the environmental and cost benefits of driving an eco vehicle, but what environmental value do they have, how much do they cost, and which are the most common types?

The biggest issue for people considering buying an electric car is the forecourt price. The average price of an electric car in 2022 in the UK was £44,000, significantly higher than the equivalent cost of a car with a traditional internal combustion engine. However, the EV market has expanded rapidly in recent years, with a considerable number of luxury models being manufactured having the effect of bumping up average prices.

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Car CO2 Emissions

Average level of carbon dioxide emissions for all licensed cars in Great Britain

Ever wondered what carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are generated by your vehicle? You might not be aware that CO2 emissions can influence the amount of car tax you pay, as well as the rate of company car tax for fleet users. Discover how much the average car CO2 emissions is and how much it can differ between new and used cars.

Within our comprehensive car CO2 emissions guide, we’ll also discuss the vehicles that emit the lowest levels of CO2 emissions and the public opinion on driving eco-friendly cars on our roads.

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Government confirms zero emissions target

The Government has now re-affirmed its commitment for almost all cars and vans on UK roads to be completely zero emission by 2050.

The UK was one of 13 international members of the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Alliance to sign a commitment as part of a climate summit in Paris, with the aim being to promote cleaner motoring as well as slashing transport emissions. 

Other members to agree included Germany, Holland, Norway and the US State of California.  The targets also include a commitment to make all passenger vehicle sales zero emission by the 2050 deadline.

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Electric cars should have ‘green badges’ and free parking, says thinktank

Owners of electric cars should be able to park on yellow and red lines, and for free, a leading thinktank has said.

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) thinks that electric cars should use a ‘green badge’ system, similar to the blue variety used by disabled drivers. It is hoped that consumers would be encouraged to trade-in their conventional vehicles for more energy efficient alternatives.  

Under the scheme, owners of green badges would be exempt from car parks charges and permit areas, and also be allowed to drive for free through congestion zones; toll roads like the M6 toll or Severn Bridge would also be free of charge.

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