Hydrogen – time to put our foot on the gas?
Does Hydrogen have the potential to work as a fuel for transport?
Concerns over carbon dioxide emissions and air-quality have been slowly working their way into public consciousness over the years, helped along by vehicle emission scandals and sometimes dangerous levels of pollution in major cities. To decrease emissions from the transport sector, countries around the world are announcing bans for the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles, some coming into effect as soon as 2025 (The Netherlands). Meanwhile, electric vehicles sales hit an all-time high in 2016 with 750,000 sold globally and this is only expected to rise each year. Electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids are slowly becoming more affordable due to advances in battery technology, enabling EVs to continue to rise in popularity. So, job done? Not quite.
Electric vehicles still have their drawbacks, battery technology is rapidly advancing but is still costly in comparison to petrol and diesel vehicles. The size and weight of batteries are still a barrier to widespread use in commercial vehicles, in addition to concerns over the energy required to keep an entire fleet charged.
So could hydrogen be the answer? Hydrogen would solve refuelling and range anxiety issues – taking minutes to refuel for a range of 300 miles plus. The only emission from the vehicle is water, making it ideal for use in cities and low-emission zones. Hydrogen also solves the issue of using potentially heavy, bulky batteries in commercial vehicles. However, hydrogen is also not without its issues. Storage of these tiny molecules is extremely difficult and an extensive and costly change to infrastructure would be needed.
Held in the Reardon Smith Theatre in the National Museum of Wales on the 5th March 2018, we will bring together key industry figures from major OEM’s in automotive, automotive supply chain and world leading academics to enable the discussion of how suitable hydrogen is as a fuel in the automotive industry.
Join the Advanced Propulsion Centre and Innovate UK at the second event in the 2018 Future of Technology Series and to have your say on whether Hydrogen powered cars are the future.