Most of the world might be betting on electric cars to help wean society off fossil fuels, but there are still plenty out there who haven't given up on a hydrogen-powered future. Which is fair, because despite the issue of infrastructure there's a lot hydrogen fuel has to offer. That's why London's Metropolitan Police are teaming up with Toyota to take on a fleet of 11 Toyota Mirai cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells.
According to Toyota this would be the largest fleet of hydrogen-powered police vehicles in the world, though that's clearly not a high bar to hit. The first lot of cars are already in the hands of the MET, and are equipped to handle marked and unmarked police work. As for getting the necessary fuel, the police will have access to the five hydrogen fuel stations that already exist within London with each tank offering a range of around 300 miles. Five stations isn't a lot, but it has been confirmed that more are on the way.
For those that don't know, hydrogen cars aren't that dissimilar from electric cars in the way they move and operate. The difference is that instead of a battery that needs to be plugged in and recharged, the necessary electricity is supplied by an internal fuel cell. It's not hugely different from filling up a car with petrol or diesel, other than the fact there are no nasty emissions - just water.
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.”