Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles: A new path to decarbonise transportation

In order to meet fuel emissions standards enacted by governments and emissions reductions targets put in place by the corporations themselves, automotive OEMs are investing billions of dollars in battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs). In fact, some auto OEMs are planning on electrifying their entire fleet by the early to mid-2020s.

However, BEVs and PHEVs are not the only low-emissions vehicles that will be part of the transition to decarbonised transportation. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) are a new type of low-emission vehicle to rival internal combustion engine (ICEs) and electric vehicles. The hydrogen FCV market was valued at $278m in 2016, but is projected to reach over $12bn by 2023. Although this pales in comparison to the electric vehicle market ($119bn in 2017 and $567bn in 2025), the massive 72.4% CAGR of FCVs, compared to a 22.3% CAGR for electric vehicles, could quickly put FCVs on the map.

Why FCVs?

In an FCV, pressurised hydrogen is stored as fuel in the tank and interacts with oxygen in fuel cells to generate electricity through a chemical reaction. This process is up to three times more efficient than ICEs, and the only byproduct is water, making the chemical reaction emissions-free. Hydrogen’s strong energy storage potential, low emissions profile and abundance as a resource make it an attractive fuel alternative to fossil fuels.

... to continue reading you must be subscribed

Subscribe Today

Paywall Asset Header Graphic

To gain access to this article and all our other content, you will need to subscribe to H2 View.

From the latest print editions, to 24/7 online access to exclusive interviews, authoritative columnists and the H2 View news archive, a subscription is the best way for you to stay up to date with developments in the hydrogen community.

Please wait...