Hydrogen to prove a ‘pillar’ of net zero

As hydrogen research and technology develops, how might it impact the future automotive market? Elle Farrell-Kingsley hears more

As carbon neutral deadlines for transportation approach, the phase-out of internal combustion engines (ICEs) has begun, with many opting for battery electric vehicles (BEV). In Europe alone, with its 2035 transport carbon neutral goal, BEVs accounted for more than 10% of total passenger vehicles sold in 2020, compared to less than 4% the year before, according to S&P.

Special report: Light vehicle hydrogen powertrain

Despite this, the scarcity of materials for battery manufacturing and infrastructure could increase support for hydrogen powertrains as an alternative decarbonisation technology. Hydrogen in light vehicles has advantages such as rapid refuelling times—five times faster than BEV—and the extended durability of fuel cell propulsion systems compared to BEVs.

“Hydrogen powertrains are part of OEMs’ long-term strategy,” says Vittoria Ferraris, Senior Director, Sector Lead Automotive EMEA at S&P. “They will likely be one of the pillars to achieve net-zero between 2030 and 2050.”

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