Prime minister Boris Johnson put thoughts of the fuel crisis behind him for a few minutes on Tuesday as he climbed behind the wheel of a hydrogen-powered car supplied by Swindon motor dealer Pebley Beach.
The Hyundai Nexo was supplied to British chemicals giant Ineos, which last year launched a clean hydrogen business to accelerate its own drive towards net zero carbon emissions.
The Nexo was wrapped in Ineos branding by another Swindon company – Smart Designs – before being driven to Manchester for the Conservative Party conference.
It was at the conference’s Exhibition Floor that the PM got into the driver’s seat of one of the world’s most innovative passenger cars.
“The government published its hydrogen strategy in August, and sees the benefits of using hydrogen to meet the UK’s carbon reduction targets,” said Dominic Threlfall, managing director of Pebley Beach.
“This was an excellent opportunity to discuss hydrogen-powered motoring with policy-makers and those who influence government strategy.
“It was also a good opportunity to promote Swindon’s place at the forefront of the UK’s hydrogen revolution.”
The Nexo uses hydrogen to power an electric motor, using fuel cells developed by another Swindon-based company – Johnson Matthey.
The SUV, which emits nothing more harmful than water, is fitted with an advanced air purification system that actually cleans the air as it drives – removing 99.9 percent of particles from the air around it.
Pebley Beach is the phase 1 distributor of the Nexo for Hyundai UK.