The Metropolitan Police is trailing hydrogen-powered vehicles as the force strives to achieve zero vehicle emissions by 2050.

A hydrogen fuel cell car is essentially an electric car, with the power being generated by a series of chemical reactions between hydrogen and oxygen.

The Met says it is embracing clean energy technology and is exploring new ways to reduce emissions.

The force announced the initiative on world Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day, Tuesday, October 8.

Seth Finkelstein, the Met’s fleet services air quality lead, said: “Alongside our existing fleet of hybrid and electric cars, we want to explore whether hydrogen power could also become part of our future.”

The Met currently has 21 hydrogen-powered Toyota Mirai’s, which have so far clocked up over 260,000 emission free miles.

However, barriers remain to a wider-scale rolling out of the technology, such as a lack of hydrogen refuelling station.

Seth Finkelstein added: “We have a range of zero and ultra-low emission vehicles part of our fleet, in fact, we now have over 500 of these in operational roles.

“We are striving to increase this amount as we move forward and are continuously engaging with vehicle manufacturers around new technologies and are open to trial all new technology that can support our operational requirements, such as hydrogen and fuel cell power.”

Ten of the Met’s hydrogen-powered cars were part funded by the European Commission as part of a research project.

The project aims to demonstrate the case for organisations converting their fleets to fuel cell electric vehicles and to further the case for more hydrogen refuelling stations.