Hyundai boosts the availability of fuel cell technology

The performance of hydrogen fuel cell systems in key heavy vehicle use cases could challenge the enduring practicality of batteries. By Will Girling

According to research by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), hydrogen could play a potentially significant role in efforts to reduce carbon emissions globally. If applied more broadly to sectors such as heavy industry and road-based freight transport, it estimates that hydrogen could meet 12% of the world’s energy demand and provide 10% of the mitigation needed to keep anthropogenic global temperature rises below 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2050.

However, the IRENA notes that there are practical challenges to making this a reality: the development of global infrastructure is still in its infancy, the costs of hydrogen pipelines can be up to 50% more expensive than fossil fuels, and a limited trading market ultimately means high consumer prices. Comparatively, while complications relating to energy grid load persist, the only additional infrastructure that battery electric vehicles (BEVs) require are charging points. As such, it is hardly surprising that BEVs have gained the mainstream spotlight as legislation in key markets signals the gradual obsolescence of internal combustion engines (ICE).

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