The city of Leicester will kick off the UK's largest on-road test of hydrogen vehicles in 2012. At a whopping 30 vehicles, largest is certainly still small in relative terms, but it's a start. The H2 cars, provided by Riversimple, have a top speed of 50 miles per hour, a range of 200 miles and will be leased to a group of hand-picked lessees for the bargain basement price of just $292 U.S. a month (at current exchange rates), plus an additional mileage fee to cover refueling costs. Lessees will have access to at least one purpose-built refueling station in the city of Leicester and could openly venture out in a desperate search for more, like maybe a station built as part of the UK-Hynet project.
Chris Huhne, the UK's climate change secretary and strong supporter of alternative energy vehicles, spoke of the importance of the Riversimple hydrogen trials by offering up these words:
Obviously, Huhne would like to see more alternative energy vehicles on the roads and hopefully the Riversimple hydrogen trial in Leicester is just a stepping stone towards bigger and better things to come.We need to harness cutting-edge technology to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels to tackle climate change. Nowhere is this more important than with passenger cars, which are responsible for almost 60 per cent of domestic transport emissions. A radical transformation of our transport network is needed in the next 40 years.