The Fast Growing Hydrogen Transport Fuel Market
A number of independent studies both private and government led have been conducted over the last few years into the short and long term viability of hydrogen fuelled transport as part of a worldwide ultra-low emissions strategy. The focus of which is not only on domestic vehicle use but also applications in heavier transport such as vans, buses, trucks, rail, and even boats.
We now live in a time where a shift away from hydrocarbon based mobility has begun. National initiatives phasing out the release of new Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles that run on petrol or diesel are underway with some countries already declaring dates that full bans on such transport will come into force.
Aside from certain countries, these decisions are being supported by a number of cities around the world including London, who have now brought in their own agendas to remove ICEs and make their transport systems clean and green, and given those goals deadlines. This all means that all ICE vehicle manufacturers have to now make a shift to engines running on renewable fuels or carbon neutral energy.
All indications point to hydrogen powered transport (hydrogen mobility) such as Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV) taking a key role in this emerging market. The global FCEV market is at this stage estimated to reach over USD 18 billion by 2023.
A number of European countries as well as some states in the United States are making large shifts towards building hydrogen economies and investment in this space looks to be extremely profitable with vast potential.
H2 First Fuels is well positioned to play a key role.
HYDROGEN TRANSPORT DEVELOPMENT
Although the Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) market
will continue to grow in the coming years,
Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV's) are
being looked at as a primary alternative to petrol and diesel vehicles.
Hydrogen Refuelling Stations (HRS) are now
being established throughout Europe,
primarily by Shell and Total.
A number of vehicle manufacturers are investing
heavily in development of FCEVs including:
Toyota, Daimler Mercedes Benz, Hyundai,
BMW, Ford, Honda, Audi, Lexus, GM, Renault,
and others as well as bespoke FCEV companies.
The world’s first Hydrogen Train has
been launched in Europe issuing in a
new era in carbon free rail transport.
Bus and Truck manufacturers are building
hydrogen powered models that are now
being released on to the market.
This sector is a big focus for government
ultra-low emission strategies.
Hydrogen Fuel Cell technology is also
being developed for heavy machinery
and researched for aviation applications.
Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV) vs. Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV)
A FCEV is basically an electric vehicle. Unlike an electric vehicle which stores its electricity in a battery, a FCEV produces its own electricity on-demand in a Fuel Cell. The Fuel Cell creates a chemical reaction between the hydrogen fuel and oxygen from the air intake to create electricity to power the motor. A FCEV is typically 2-3 times more efficient to run than an ICE vehicle and the only emission produced is a water vapour.
Battery powered electric vehicles are certainly more eco-friendly than ICE vehicles but the question is; are they likely to compete with FCEV’s once full distribution of hydrogen becomes available?
The first argument is convenience. Battery technology is certainly improving and a 30 minute recharge is now possible which can give a good number of miles to your BEV without having to wait 5+ hours for a full charge. FCEV’s however can completely refuel in 3 to 5 minutes, approximately the same time it takes to fill an ICE vehicle with petrol or diesel, so is more in keeping with the way vehicle users are used to refuelling and the convenience it gives.
It could be argued in return that BEV’s can just be charged at work or while at home and this is a fair point, if you are not in a hurry. It can also be said that BEV battery technology is being constantly improved which is also true, but so is FCEV technology which like all innovation being invested in will see rapid improvements in performance and a good reduction in cost. While the BEV market will continue to grow, FCEV’s are now being looked at a potential primary means of transport. This is why a number of vehicle manufacturers such as Toyota, Daimler Mercedes Benz, BMW, Hyundai, Ford, Honda, Audi, VW, Lexus, GM, Renault, and others are investing in Fuel Cell development with models starting to be released. Bus and Truck manufacturers are also developing Fuel Cell models, and more and more governments are releasing Hydrogen agendas with transport always taking a key position.
Use of hydrogen is more than just about cars. It is also about light commercial vehicles, buses, trucks, boats, heavy machinery, rail, and ultimately even aviation. Some of these applications may be very difficult for straight battery power to manage, whereas hydrogen has the capability.
Another argument is that unless the electricity used to recharge a BEV has been totally generated by renewable means (i.e. solar energy), then in fairness it cannot be claimed that it is an entirely green form of transport. There is also a question the environmental impact of battery disposal once they have reached their replacement date.
FCEV’s will certainly become a fast growing £multi-billion industry and potentially take over as the main type of transport to replace hydrocarbon based ICE’s, but in order for this to really happen there needs to be a distribution network as extensive as the current one for petrol and diesel and an eco-friendly mass production method of providing the hydrogen it will need.
The answer is H2 First Fuels.