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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Against the background of climate change, the reduction of greenhouse gases in the transport sector is increasingly coming to the fore. At present, electrically operated and in particular battery-powered vehicles (BEV) are of great importance.
The signs are quite clear: Large manufacturers of classic combustion engines are gradually abandoning their traditional fields of activity and investing in hydrogen technology.
The idea of using hydrogen as energy storage entered the political mainstream a long time ago. The coalition agreement between the Christian and the Social Democrats in Germany includes several direct references to hydrogen and fuel cells, while a few other parties have made the technologies part of their platforms as well.