Hydrogen charger used for electric cars trialled by Ministry of Defence to 'increase resiliency on bases'

Hydrogen charger used for electric cars trialled by Ministry of Defence to 'increase resiliency on bases'

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Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 27/02/2024

- 12:56

Updated: 06/03/2024

- 08:56

The technology will be used for the MoD's fleet of electric cars and small vans

The Ministry of Defence is using hydrogen-powered charging facilities for its electric vehicles as it aims to slash transport emissions.

A hydrogen power unit will be tested at the Merville Barracks in Colchester for the next two months to determine the viability of such technology.

Other units are being used at RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire and HMNB Devonport in Devon, in addition to Merville Barracks.

The hydrogen facilities are being used to recharge non-tactical vehicles, which are referred to as the MoD’s white fleet.

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Hydrogen refuelling

The partnership was formed in August last year


The Ministry of Defence is aiming to transition to a fleet of zero emission vehicles by the end of December 2027.

Lt Col Ed Rankin, Commander of Colchester Garrison, said: "The system allows us to demonstrate the concept here at Merville Barracks and understand the technology's potential to increase resiliency on our bases and be used on operations at home and overseas,” the BBC reported.

The Ministry of Defence partnered with GeoPura in August 2023 to trial the use of hydrogen as an energy source for recharging its fleet of electric vehicles.

The Defence Support programme aims to look at whether hydrogen can be used in other ways, including fully hydrogen-powered vehicles.

Hydrogen refuelling

The refuelling site at RAF Leeming is one of three stations


Speaking previously, Air Vice Marshal Richard Hill, Director Defence Support Major Programmes, praised the initiative saying it would be a “significant step forward”.

He said: “Working with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), and the three Services, this trial will further our understanding of hydrogen’s place in Defence’s future energy mix.

“Using hydrogen to power some of our white fleet electric vehicles is a significant step forward in accessing a broader range of sustainable energy sources.

“This will provide resilience and mobility in off-grid and compromised-supply locations.”

Rebecca McLean, CCO at Geopura, said the company was “delighted” to support RAF Leeming and the MoD with its net zero endeavours.

The partnership was possible through the Sustainable Road Transport programme which allows industries to decarbonise through collaboration with other companies.

She added that the hydrogen-powered generators provide a “reliable and environmentally friendly source of power with zero harmful emissions, completely unrestricted by grid limitations”.

Group Captain Gareth Prendergast, RAF Leeming Station Commander, added: “It is fantastic to be part of the Defence Support programme exploring the use of hydrogen and how it may support Defence capabilities in the future.


Rebecca McLean and Group Captain Gareth Prendergast

Rebecca McLean and Group Captain Gareth Prendergast at the refuelling site


“The GeoPura system allows us to demonstrate the concept here at RAF Leeming and understand how it can increase resiliency on our bases and influence operations at home and overseas.”

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