Hydrogen Vehicles – Alternative To EVs? - EV Motors

Hydrogen Vehicles – Alternative To EVs?

What Are Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles?

Hydrogen is the most abundant resource on our planet, which is why scientists and automakers collaborated to develop a method for using this resource to power vehicles.

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As a result, these vehicles have hydrogen cells that can be easily topped up from a filling station that looks like a gas or diesel pump.

This process is much quicker than EV charging which requires several hours in most cases to completely fill the vehicle’s battery.

This is why it is being anticipated that in future, most automakers will switch to the hydrogen vehicle platform.

How Do They Work?

The Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) use hydrogen to power the motor and for this purpose, hydrogen fuel cells are used.

Such cars have a battery and through the regenerative braking process, the battery is continuously charged during normal urban driving conditions.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles Vs Electric Vehicles

While the present EVs have the capacity of converting nearly 50% of their energy to use, the HFEVs can attain impressive figures up to 60 to 70%, which makes these vehicles the better option when compared to the EVs. [1]

Market Size & Popularity

The market size of the existing Hydrogen vehicles isn’t too impressive for now and the lack of proper infrastructure can be one of the main reasons for this.

This is well supported by the fact that even in an advanced region like the UK only 11 Hydrogen filling stations are present. [2]

The below image shows the top impacting factors which will aid the global increase in the sales of Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in the future.

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In 2018 the global fuel cell automobile market size was €572.2 million whereas, by the year 2026, the same is estimated to touch a figure of €37068.9 million.

This significant increase in the overall market size is mainly because the world is switching over to a sustainable model for transportation. [1]

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As shown in the above map, the Hydrogen fuel cell vehicle market is global, but the South American and African regions will see the greatest increase in sales over the next four years.

Which Automakers Are Producing Them & Which Models?

At the moment, only three automakers are pursuing the Hydrogen vehicle segment, which appears to be lagging far behind the rapidly growing EV segment.

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Toyota’s Mirai, Honda Clarity and Hyundai Nexo are the only three mainstream produced hydrogen vehicles and the slow buyer response to them is not convincing enough for other automakers to follow suit.

This is why just BMW, Vauxhall and Land Rover have shown interest in launching their Hydrogen cars in the future.

Author’s Take

Unlike the electric energy used for running EVs, Hydrogen has to be extracted and then compressed in fuel tanks which is later mixed with oxygen in the fuel cell stack.

The overall process of running a hydrogen-powered vehicle is more complex than that of an EV, and the greater the number of components involved in the operation of a vehicle, the greater the likelihood of something failing and the vehicle coming to a halt.

EVs are superior to hydrogen vehicles because they are simpler to operate and maintain, but the overall CO2 emitted during Li-ion battery production also places significant strain on the environment.

This opens up new opportunities for the Hydrogen fuel cell vehicle market, which is expected to boom in the near future.

References
  1. Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle Market by Vehicle Type (Passenger Vehicle and Commercial Vehicle) and Technology (Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell, Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cells, and Others): Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2019–2026, https://www.alliedmarketresearch.com/hydrogen-fuel-cell-vehicle-market
  2. Shane Wilkinson, Hydrogen Fuel Cells: DO Hydrogen Cars Have A Future, https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/electric-cars/93180/hydrogen-fuel-cells-do-hydrogen-cars-have-future

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