• Early commitment to hydrogen technologies offers the UK the prospect of leapfrogging other economies predominantly committed to battery technology

• Hydrogen leadership presents a cleantech springboard to the UK re-asserting a global leadership position in the automotive sector with a potential economic dividend of £18bn

• The investment case is consistent with ambitions of November’s COP26 Summit in Glasgow and the newly published Transport Decarbonisation Plan

• Hydrogen technology plays to UK’s strengths in automotive design and addresses the as-yet unsolved issues of decarbonising heavy transport & freight

• Hydrogen provides the perfect complementary solution to battery power to deliver carbon-free mobility across all transport categories

Embracing clean hydrogen technology to power road, air and marine transport presents the UK with a significant opportunity to reclaim a global engineering leadership position, deliver an economic premium and securing critical environmental dividend say pioneering cleantech engineers, Viritech today.

The company develops advanced technologies including integrated hydrogen powertrains, vehicle control systems, structural graphene pressure vessels and high-performance energy storage to enable hydrogen application in automotive, aerospace, marine and distributed power generation.

Through the publication of its call to action, Hydrogen is the UK’s Leapfrog Opportunity in the Race to Zero Emissions, Viritech makes the case for accelerated commitment in both the public and private sectors to a breakthrough technology that has the potential to reinstate the UK’s leadership position in the automotive sector, while simultaneously making a substantial commitment to decarbonising the hard-to-abate heavy freight sectors of the transport mix.

“Hydrogen is an essential piece of the zero emissions puzzle,” said Jay Nagley, a seasoned automotive commentator. “Batteries cannot do the whole job alone and there are a large number of use cases, especially in heavy freight applications such as heavy goods vehicles, where batteries alone are not the solution to replace fossil fuels. However, a dual-track approach of hydrogen and batteries provides a comprehensive set of solutions to achieve this goal. While batteries are the key growth industry of the early 2020s, hydrogen powertrains will be the key growth industry of the late 2020s,” he continued.

With the potential to unlock £18bn in GVA and create up to 75,000 jobs in the UK by 2035*, Viritech is urging the government to prioritise investment in hydrogen technology in order that the UK can take a leadership position founded on its deep pedigree of automotive prototype engineering.

Timothy Lyons, Viritech’s Founder said, “As a nation, we have done a respectable job of not just pioneering lithium-ion technology and advancing battery tech, but our gigafactory potential is way behind other European markets such as Germany and France in terms of both timing and quantum; hydrogen offers the UK the chance to take a lead in an environmentally and economically critical technology, leveraging our amazing domestic capacity for automotive engineering ingenuity. We’ve set out why this is important and how we can become world leaders in hydrogen technology in our call to action today.”

The call to action from Viritech sets out the pathway for the UK to achieve a first-mover advantage in the burgeoning momentum behind hydrogen technologies. Moreover, the endlessly recyclable, scalable energy storage that hydrogen offers is aligned with the leadership ambitions that the UK harbours for its hosting of COP26 in November this year.