New initiative to kick start hydrogen vehicles but who will benefit?

New initiative to kick start hydrogen vehicles but who will benefit?

electric vehicle consultants The Government has recently announced grants of £2 million for businesses and local authorities to accelerate the uptake of hydrogen vehicles. Now call me cynical (I know many people do) but as I stated in my previous blog, I still can’t see a day when these vehicles will become mass market. Firstly, the cars are just not being produced in large enough numbers to make a significant difference. According to Autocar there will be just 50 Toyota Mirai arriving in the UK in 2016 and global production for the car in 2017 is only 3,000. In a recent news report by USA Today, they forecast that global sales will amount to only 70,000 by 2027 which is only 0.1% of all new vehicles sold. These are hardly ground breaking figures. Secondly, the price is expected to place hydrogen cars out of reach for most normal households or businesses.  The expected price of the Toyota will be £60,000 (Autocar) and the Hyundai ix35 is slightly cheaper at £53,000. Based on these figures increasing uptake will be a challenge. In times of austerity, it will be interesting to see which local authority will be brave enough to put staff in a £63,000 car even if it is subsidised. Most importantly, the final barrier will be the lack of refuelling stations. With hydrogen refuelling stations costing in excess of £2 million, it’s hardly surprising that there’s only plans to install a handful across the entire country. Currently London, Swindon and Rotherham are home to hydrogen refuelling stations and the UK Government has plans to bring the total up to 13 in...
New initiative to kick start hydrogen vehicles but who will benefit?

Is there a role for hydrogen in the fuels of the future?

electric vehicle consultants For the last five years at Zero Carbon Futures, we’ve been focusing on the role of electric vehicles to prompt the steady transition away from the Internal Combustion Engine. Battery technology is certainly the technology that is currently catalysing that change. However, I would argue that it is not quite the finished product. The range of the vehicles on the market now is currently good but not just good enough. I have driven 20,000 miles in my EV so I can speak from experience when I say that we need bigger batteries and faster charging. What I really want is a 150 mile range with around a 10 min charging, ideally with a cost of ownership the same as an ICE vehicle. We know that we’re going to get there. Larger capacity batteries are coming. Faster charging technology will be here in the next 5 years or so. The role of all of us, including government, is to support these goals and carry on investing in battery and charging technology. So what is distracting us? Before we have truly embedded what is acknowledged as a potential winning technology, we are already trying to move on to largely problematic technology. That current technology distraction, I think, is Fuel Cell Vehicles (FCV). I honestly don’t see a place for hydrogen vehicles in the passenger car market. This technology might be viable for certain class of vehicles, but not I would argue, for passenger/family size vehicles. Yes they are coming out of Japan and Korea, but in tiny numbers and they are very expensive. To me there are a...
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