London police force to use Toyota hydrogen vehicles
13 March 2018
Hydrogen police cars will appear on the streets of UK capital London as the Metropolitan Police Service (Met) is to team up with Japanese manufacturer Toyota.
The first of 11 Toyota Mirai vehicles have been delivered to the Met thanks to support from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking (FCHJU) in the form of a grant. The vehicles will be equipped to work as both marked and unmarked vehicles for overt and covert response as well as for general purpose use.
While manufacturers are developing electric vehicles to combat potential fines for missing European CO2 targets, hydrogen is the closest zero-emission technology to petrol and diesel, with equivalent filling times and range, while the only by-product is water. By using the Mirai, the Met is helping the Mayor of London’s clean air strategy.
The Mirai will have access to five hydrogen filling stations across the capital, a number that’s set to increase in the months and years ahead as an investment in infrastructure is realised. On a tank of fuel, each car will be able to cover approximately 300 miles.
Met Commander Neil Jerome said: ‘We are delighted to have taken delivery of 11 of these cars to support policing in London. They are our first entirely zero emission response vehicles, and this is an exciting development for us.
‘The Met is committed, alongside the Mayor, to making the service as environmentally friendly as possible and a big part of that work is ensuring our fleet is green. Since late 2015 we have been actively looking at ways to hybridise and electrify our fleet as well as exploring other new technologies such as hydrogen.
‘This is enabling us to make great strides towards our ambition of procuring 550 vehicles as zero or ultra-low emission by 2020.’
Shirley Rodrigues, Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, added: ‘It is fantastic to see the Met’s first-ever zero-emission vehicles take to the streets of London. Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles have an important role to play in helping lower harmful emissions and improve air quality on our roads and the Mayor’s Hydrogen London partnership is working to develop the use of this technology in the capital.
‘The Mayor is determined to take the bold action needed to protect Londoners from our toxic air, and this move highlights how the capital’s emergency services are leading by example and supporting his work towards becoming a zero-carbon city by 2050.’
FCHJU is a joint undertaking between the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, Hydrogen Europe and the New European Research Grouping on Fuel Cells and Energy. It plans to demonstrate by 202 that hydrogen vehicles have a place on roads around Europe, aiding projects that reduce the cost of the technology, increase the efficiency of hydrogen production and vehicles, as well as promoting the technology for energy storage.
Photograph courtesy of Toyota