A group of hydrogen fuel filling stations is being created in the midlands to help engineers assess the performance and efficiency of hydrogen cars in real-world conditions.
Engineers from the University of Birmingham have already begun comparing the performance of a new fleet of hydrogen-powered cars with the university's own fleet of petrol, diesel and electric vehicles.
The researchers will determine how the vehicles need to be adapted in order to make hydrogen an attractive and cost-effective option as a future fuel.
The cars will be fuelled from a hydrogen gas station, which is part of a cluster being set up across the region by the British Midlands Hydrogen Forum.
Known as the Midlands Hydrogen Ring, the stations will be at the heart of hydrogen fuelling infrastructure planned throughout the region, enabling real life hydrogen vehicle trials.
A second station is already operational at Loughborough University and the roll-out of further sites includes vehicle testing centers, an airport, a visitor attraction and eventually the open road.
Professor Kevin Kendall, lead investigator for the project said: “The cars will carry out tasks on the campus, including postal deliveries, recycling of materials and duties around the estate.
"This will enable us to test the car components for reliability, get the cars road-legal and confirm their efficiency and cost effectiveness.”