Express UK— HYDROGEN vehicles have received billions of pounds of investment into them in recent years and they could help reduce emissions from some of the most-polluting vehicles on UK roads.
Hydrogen fuel cell technology has been the focus of many recent investments, with Governments, organisations and automakers all pledging funds to the promising technology. Bosch intends to invest £800million (€1billion) into developing hydrogen fuel cells and lorries, with their estimates finding the market could be worth around £15.2billion (€18billion) by the end of the decade.
his comes alongside the UK Government’s pledge of £23million for the Hydrogen for Transport Programme.
Carmakers like Hyundai have also invested heavily into the fuel source, something which other automotive rivals have taken aim at.
Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe recently said he didn’t see hydrogen combustion as feasible for cars, preferring fuel cells instead, which some saw as a jibe towards Hyundai’s jump into the sector.
The Japanese government has invested heavily into hydrogen in their aim to become carbon neutral by 2050.
A 2021 survey found that 63 percent of them think car manufacturers should invest as much time and money in bringing hydrogen cars to UK roads as with battery electric vehicles (EVs).
Currently, there are only two hydrogen cars which are commercially available in the UK – the Toyota Mirai and the Hyundai NEXO.
The Government estimates there are around 300 hydrogen vehicles on UK roads, with most of them being passenger cars and buses.
There is hope, however, that hydrogen fuel cells will be used for larger vehicles like lorries and heavy goods vehicles.
Caterina Brandmayr, Head of Climate Policy at Green Alliance, outlined the best uses for hydrogen fuel cells.
Caterina Brandmayr, speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk said:
For cars and vans, battery powered electric vehicles are already a much cheaper and more efficient technology than hydrogen.
“It increasingly looks like batteries will also play an important role for HGVs, particularly for shorter journeys.”
“The picture is quite different for aviation and shipping where hydrogen is more likely to be part of the solution.”
“Sustainable aviation fuels, such as e-kerosene, can be developed using hydrogen and will allow us to cut the climate impact of flying as we move to net zero.”
“In the meantime, we need frequent flyers to drastically reduce their air miles too.”
“As we build up our hydrogen capacity, we should focus on green hydrogen developed with wind and solar power, rather than from burning more fossil fuels.”
The Government’s UK Hydrogen Strategy report clarified that hydrogen could be used to “complement electrification across modes of transport” including buses, trains and HGVs.
It also said hydrogen in transport will “evolve in the future”, especially with depot-based transport options like buses.
The rollout of hydrogen buses has already happened in the UK, with Wrightbus unveiling the world’s first hydrogen-powered double-decker bus.
It is already in service in Birmingham as the council looks to reach net zero emissions by 2030.
The buses, which are made in Northern Ireland, only produce water vapour from their tailpipes, with no exhausts and no fumes.
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