Europe drives ahead with hydrogen-powered vehicles

Electrolyser Linz
6-MW-electrolyser at the steel plant in
Linz, © voestalpine, H2FUTURE

Europe is leading the way in developing the breakthrough technologies needed to realise hydrogen’s energy potential. With hydrogen-powered buses and taxis being used across major cities, we have demonstrated that the technology can be used on a large scale.

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Hydrogen vehicles: Trends and outlook

Hyundai Truck
Trucks could benefit from fuel cell engines, © H2 Energy

This March, the German gas and water industries association DVGW published the findings of a study called “Hydrogen electric vehicles – trends and outlook,” which the organization had commissioned to evaluate the prospects for hydrogen in the transportation sector.

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Batteries for passenger cars – Fuel cells for trucks

The designers of the HDC-6-NEPTUNE Concept were inspired by the Streamliner Railway (1936-1959).
Design of the HDC-6-NEPTUNE Concept, inspired by the Streamliner Railway, © Hyundai Motor

Two years ago, the interest of German truck manufacturers and freight forwarders in fuel cells was extremely low. It’s different today. Almost all logistics companies are now in some way concerned with the question of what fuel their vehicles will be powered by in the future.

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Hydrogen is on everyone’s lips

Design draft of a future FC ship
Design draft of a future FC ship, © Havyard

While hydrogen in the maritime sector has only ever been treated as an option for the future under “far away” for years, not only the events at which this energy source is the subject of lively debate are currently on the increase, but also the reports on concrete projects.

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Load wheel with H2 drive

H2 cartridge exchange on Sneaker,
H2 cartridge exchange on Sneaker, © Olivier Frajman

In a joint action, various French stakeholders intend to launch a load tricycle with pedal support in the form of a fuel cell drive on the market in 2020. The bicycle manufacturer Cycleurope has teamed up with Bianchi and STOR-H Technologies for development.

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Shareholders discover fuel cells

Share price development of the six discussed companies
© www.wallstreet-online.de

The reports are overwhelming as far as the areas of application and potential of the fuel cell are concerned, and politicians in Germany have also finally woken up. The stock exchanges have led many FC companies into a real course euphoria. But also, contradictions find their way into the media, according to which China allegedly plans to reduce or even completely discontinue the promotion of battery-powered, but also fuel cell-powered electro-mobility. On the other hand, from a very well-informed source one hears exactly the opposite, namely that precisely the promotion of the fuel cell and the associated infrastructure in China is being set up anew, that only the battery promotion is being limited.

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Balancing act between commercialisation and project business

E4tech

The new Fuel Cell Industry Review 2019 withmarket data and analyses was published in January 2020. Since 2014, E4tech’s team has been contacting fuel cell companies worldwide to build it, aggregating their supply figures and creating an independent annual reference point on the current state of the fuel cell industry. Some excerpts are presented below.

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There will be FC mobility and an H2 industry

Prof. Angelika Heinzel
Prof. Angelika Heinzel, © ZBT

There is a lot going on in the energy sector at the moment. As a result of numerous activities and events – be it diesel scandals or CO2 pricing, driving bans or Fridays-for-Future demonstrations, flight shame or real laboratories – more and more players are committing themselves to more sustainability as well as to hydrogen as an energy storage.

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Hydrogen for aviation

Fuel cell propulsion systems are not only being developed for unmanned aircraft, hydrogen is also increasingly becoming a topic in passenger transport.

In 2018, the Element One project was launched to transport four passengers over distances of 500 to 5,000 km, ©
HES Energy Systems, Singapore

Fuel cell propulsion systems are not only being developed for unmanned aircraft, hydrogen is also increasingly becoming a topic in passenger transport. The US space agency NASA, for example, together with the engineering school of the University of Illinois, is constructing electric aircraft using liquid hydrogen and fuel cells.

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