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  • Writer's pictureNicolas

🌿 Is Hydrogen THE Solution for the Future of Mobility? 🌿

More than 100 scientists wrote an open letter in the context of the Paris 2024 - Comité d'organisation des Jeux Olympiques et Paralympiques de 2024 to say why it is not a good message to use hydrogen cars as a solution against climate change.


🌿 Is Hydrogen THE Solution for the Future of Mobility? 🌿

🔍 The answer isn't straightforward. Hydrogen could be part of a broader solution depending on how it’s produced and utilized:


📌 Usage and Production:

  • Hydrogen acts as an energy vector, transferring energy across space and time.

  • There are various methods to produce hydrogen, commonly classified by colors (e.g., green hydrogen, grey hydrogen).

Hydrogen Production Method
source: acciona energia
Different hydrogen production process by color
source: Energy Letter Review


🔋 Efficiency and Renewable Energy:

  • Green hydrogen (produced using renewable electricity) is the only immaculate method.

  • However, producing hydrogen via renewable electricity is less efficient compared to storing that electricity directly in vehicle batteries.


🚛 Application in Mobility:

  • Renewable hydrogen is a viable option for energy-intensive transportation like long-distance trucks, coaches, and public buses.


🧬 Key Points from the Scientists' Open Letter


📉 Hydrogen vs. Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs):

  • Hydrogen vehicles, including the Toyota Mirai, are not aligned with net-zero goals.

  • BEVs are identified as the most effective way to decarbonize passenger transport.

💸 Cost and Infrastructure:

  • Green hydrogen vehicles need three times more renewable electricity than BEVs, making them more expensive and less efficient.

  • The high cost and limited infrastructure for hydrogen refuelling are significant barriers.


🌍 Environmental Impact:

  • Most hydrogen today is produced from fossil fuels, which emit substantial CO2.

  • Switching the official fleet of the 2024 Olympics from hydrogen vehicles to BEVs is recommended to better align with net-zero goals.


🚫 Failed Trials and Market Decline:

  • Hydrogen vehicle trials have failed in several countries due to cost and infrastructure issues.

  • BEVs are vastly more prevalent and practical for consumer use, with a growing support infrastructure.


Conclusion

Hydrogen can contribute to the future of mobility but isn't the sole solution. BEVs are currently more efficient and aligned with environmental goals. The future likely holds a mix of technologies, with hydrogen playing a specific role in energy-intensive applications.



Engibne efficiency by renewable fuel type
source: Transport&Environment

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