Carbon Trust says it has awarded 1 million British pounds to four U.K. fuel-cell manufacturers to advance the incorporation of the technology into hydrogen-powered cars. According to the organization, fuel-cell technology could be used under the bonnet of mass-produced vehicles by as early as 2017.
Major manufacturers have already built hydrogen-powered fuel-cell cars, but the real challenge is to bring down the costs, Carbon Trust notes.
The organization has awarded 500,000 British pounds to ACAL Energy and ITM Power for the companies to collaborate on developing a new hybrid, high-power, low-cost fuel-cell design.
Carbon Trust is also giving 500,000 British pounds to the Imperial College London and the University College London for the colleges to develop a fuel cell that Carbon Trust says could offer significant cost savings by using existing high-volume manufacturing techniques employed in the production of printed circuit boards.
The funding comes from the Carbon Trust's Polymer Fuel Cells Challenge, which was launched in 2009 to support the U.K. Department for Energy and Climate Change's objectives to develop lower-cost fuel cells.