How Will Land Transport Pave the way to a Secure Hydrogen Economy?

When it comes to reducing our carbon emissions, the future of land transport is a key consideration. In a report published by the Department for Transport, it is estimated that 27% of all UK greenhouse gas emissions in 2019 were produced by transport. Hydrogen Industry Leaders asks how hydrogen can play a part in decarbonising the land transport sector.

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) are already being produced by automotive manufacturers such as Toyota, Hyundai, and Honda, and offer an exciting prospect: zero carbon emissions. These vehicles work by converting hydrogen into electricity, the only by-product of which is water and steam. It would also be beneficial to use this technology in heavy-duty vehicles such as trucks and buses, as these consume a lot of fuel. With benefits such as long driving ranges, quick refuelling, and high efficiency, FCVs could significantly reduce emissions while maintaining the same range and performance as diesel vehicles.

Delaying the wider uptake of FCVs as a viable alternative to petrol or diesel vehicles is the lack of refuelling infrastructure currently available. However, this presents a unique opportunity for developers to lead the change and bring FCVs to the mainstream.

Germany is leading the way in the hydrogen-powered trains arena, introducing the world’s first Coradia iLint, in 2018. Also running on hydrogen fuel cells, these trains boast similar benefits including clean energy conversion, flexible energy storage using batteries, and smart management of traction power and available energy.

Producing only steam and water in exhaust, hydrogen-powered trains offer commuters a zero-emission option. Following the success of Coradia iLint, Germany has since become the first in the world to operate a fleet of hydrogen trains in regular operation. The UK introduced their first hydrogen train, HydroFLEX, in 2020, and has since made strides towards delivering its first hydrogen fleet in the coming years.

Hydrogen Industry Leaders can provide support and guidance through our multimedia platform and in-person event series, where we bring together the people working in hydrogen with the people looking to transition into the hydrogen sector for land transport.