Reduce final energy demand.
Likely to increase total electricity consumption (due to electrolysis).
Reduce total diesel / gasoline consumption.
Likely to increase the share of renewable energy sources in the energy mix.
Possibly reduces pressure on the grid by using demand-managed hydrogen production to decrease peak electricity demand.
Likely to increase energy independence and energy security.
Likely to reduce global CO2 emissions.
Avoid emissions of harmful pollutants, especially in urban areas.
Reduce noise pollution.
Likely to increase deposited waste and environmental impacts related to mining and end of life treatment of fuel cells and batteries (also used in FCVs).
Likely to increase the cost of the energy transition.
Likely to increase total cost of ownership of vehicles.
May improve balance of payments by substituting oil imports by domestic electricity.
Reduce Confederation income from the tax on mineral oil under the current taxation system.
Require investment in new refuelling infrastructure.
The global FCV stock is very low and limited to demonstration vehicles. Several manufacturers have announced that they will introduce commercial fuel cell vehicles from 2015 (including Hyundai, Honda, Mercedes and Toyota). Fuel cells are most suitable for passenger cars and buses (possibly vans and scooters also).
In 2011, the total EU passenger car stock was 242 million (483 vehicles per 1000 inhabitants), compared to 163 million in 1990 (an average yearly growth rate of 1.9%).
A FCV is a vehicle that uses a fuel cell as energy source for its propulsion system. The fuel cell converts hydrogen to electricity, which powers the vehicle with an electric drivetrain similar to that of an electric vehicle.
This has the advantage that a feasibly-sized hydrogen tank can give longer range than the battery of an electric vehicle, and is faster to refuel, almost the same time as for a gasoline or diesel vehicle.
FCVs produce no emissions at the point of use and hydrogen fuel opens the possibility of zero greenhouse gasesemissions at all, if renewable sources are used to produce it.
• Requires infrastructure for production, storage, distribution and retailing of hydrogen.
• Slightly shorter range than standard diesel/gasoline cars, and maybe some compromise to interior space to accommodate tank.
• Higher purchase price than equivalent gasoline/diesel car.
• Safety concerns as hydrogen is an unfamiliar fuel.
• Technology not yet mature in high manufacturing volumes.