shutterstock_1470164021 (1)

The UK needs to stop getting bogged down in debating the merits of battery versus fuel cell-powered EVs and accept that both technologies are needed to achieve Net Zero, according to a trade association.

The UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (UK HFCA) said latest estimates of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050 showed investment would need to be increased to around £50bn a year and support was required to deploy hydrogen on a wide scale.

In a joint statement signed by the UK HFCA, as well as other renewable gas business groups, it said many of the current debates surrounding the use of hydrogen were “unhelpful” and that “paralysis through analysis” was stymieing the country’s efforts to decarbonise.

The statement said: “There is little public benefit in debating the merits of battery versus fuel cell-powered electric vehicles when we know that both are needed to achieve Net Zero, or in debating whether carbon capture is needed or not when the CCC [Climate Change Committee], International Energy Agency and others have already affirmed its importance.”

The comments came as the CCC published a report criticising the government for being too slow in acting on its climate promises.

It said the public had not been informed or engaged by the government in the changes needed to achieve the Prime Minister’s 10-Point Plan to tackle global warming.

The CCC said that despite UK emissions falling to nearly 50% of their 1990 levels during the 2020 lockdown, the journey to Net Zero was far from half completed, with emissions expected to rebound in 2022.

Lord Deben, CCC chair, said: “The Government must get real on delivery.

“Global Britain has to prove that it can lead a global change in how we treat our planet. Get it right and UK action will echo widely. Continue to be slow and timid and the opportunity will slip from our hands.

“Between now and COP 26 the world will look for delivery, not promises.”