Hydrogen displays the potential to provide the energy to run trains, trucks, planes, and factories in the future, helping the world to get rid of harmful emissions. A look at the scenario of the use of hydrogen in various sectors reveals the following.
Hydrogen-powered cells in electric cars are already on the road. For example, the Mirai Sedan – the world’s first vehicle with hydrogen-powered cells launched by Toyota in the late 2014, while Hyundai launched its Nexo SUV in 2018.
In fact, for an average consumer, the initial retail price is high, priced approximately at US$50,000 in the U.S., and even higher in Europe. Besides this, lack of recharging stations and need for large reservoirs that take seating space are some other hurdles in the uptake of hydrogen powered electric cars.
Nonetheless, several automakers and equipment manufacturers have unveiled substantial investment plans for innovations in the vehicles and develop race cars as well.
In a bid for this, freight transport is a likely area to start with, where hydrogen could be used in place of diesel. This is because vehicles for freight transport can be refilled quickly, have substantial autonomy, weight does not matter, and can be fuelled in urban centers that otherwise are not permitted for heavy trucks.
Meanwhile, Hyundai has rolled out prototypes of hydrogen-powered freight vehicles, and Toyota, GM, and Traton are speeding the development of their models.
In addition, some other companies are proposing development of buses with hydrogen-powered cells, however, the sector is currently at experimental stage.
Importantly, hydrogen-fuelled trains are considered to be a good alternative to replace diesel for the ones that cannot operate on electricity.