The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for commercial hydrogen vehicles will fall by more than 50% in the next ten years as manufacturing technology matures, economies of scale improve, hydrogen fuel costs decline, and infrastructure develops.
That’s according to a joint white paper from Ballard and Deloitte China entitled “Fuelling the Future of Mobility: Hydrogen and fuel cell solutions for transportation” which was released at the CES 2020 trade show in Las Vegas.
“In less than ten years, it will become cheaper to run a fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) than it is to run a battery electric vehicle (BEV) or internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle for certain commercial applications,” said Randy MacEwen, Ballard’s President and CEO.
“We are excited to partner with Deloitte on this important initiative. We believe this white paper provides answers to the most pertinent questions from industry executives and laypeople alike, specifically regarding the economic viability of FCEVs and their environmental sustainability.”
The white paper undertakes a comprehensive TCO analysis which applies a detailed and objective model to various heavy-duty motive transportation scenarios across Shanghai, California and London.
“To many commercial operators, hydrogen seems to be a complex and expensive technology for the future,” said Adrian Xu, Financial Advisory Director at Deloitte China.
“However, we have proven through our deep research and proprietary models that fuel cell electric vehicles will become cheaper to run than traditional internal combustion engine vehicles of battery electric vehicles very soon.”
A review of energy efficiency, hydrogen production, green gas and other environmental impacts related to fuel cell technology today and going forward, concluding that FCEVs are most attractive environmentally than BEVs and ICE vehicles is also carried out in the paper.
“At Ballard, our growth strategy is premised on the transition of mobility from diesel and other ICE-based powertrains to zero emission fuel cell electrification. We believe FCEVs will be the best solution – based on TCO economics, vehicle performance and environmental sustainability – for certain heavy- and medium-duty vehicle use cases,” MacEwan said.
“We are focused on bus, commercial truck, rail and marine. Here, we see market segments where vehicle duty cycles require long range, rapid refuelling, heavy payload and route flexibility.”
“Many of these use cases already use a return-to-base refuelling model, which lowers the barriers to the introduction depot hydrogen refuelling. These use cases also have disproportionately high emissions and have been considered as ‘hard-to-abate’ emission applications.”
“Over the longer term we are also confident that the fuel cell value proposition will continue to strengthen for passenger cars. We believe the trends of decarbonisation, connectivity, autonomy and shared mobility in urban environments will lead to demand for zero emission passenger vehicles having high utilisation rates,” MacEwen concluded.
The white paper, which is the first in a series which will explore how hydrogen is set to power the future of mobility, also reviews the progress and support from governments globally such as China, the US, Japan and the EU.
The white paper can be downloaded here.