Hydrogen Cars: The Future of the UK Car Industry?
Currently, transport remains the largest emitting sector of GHG emissions in the UK, contributing to 24 per cent of UK domestic emissions in 2020. How can a UK hydrogen car industry cut carbon emissions and fuel costs?

In the UK, the average carbon emissions per car are 138.4 grams per km, according to the latest data from the Department for Transport.

Research by Juniper Research Ltd has found that the number of hydrogen vehicles in service globally will exceed 1 million in 2027, from just over 60,000 in 2022.

It also discovered that the consumer market will lead the hydrogen vehicles space, with consumer vehicles accounting for over 60 per cent of hydrogen vehicles in service globally in 2027.

Filling up hydrogen-powered vehicles takes between 3-5 minutes

Hydrogen-powered cars offer many benefits compared to traditional internal combustion engine vehicles and other fuel vehicles.

One of these benefits is that hydrogen fuel cells can convert energy from hydrogen into electricity with efficiencies of up to 60 per cent, while internal combustion engines typically have efficiencies of around 20-30 per cent. This higher efficiency results in better utilisation of energy resources and reduced fuel consumption.

According to Toyota, hydrogen-powered vehicles don’t need charging like electric vehicles. These can be refuelled with hydrogen gas, and pumped in the same safe and convenient way people are used to with a conventional petrol or diesel car. Filling up takes the same amount of time, between 3-5 minutes for a full tank.

Another benefit is that hydrogen is versatile as it can be produced from various sources, including wind and solar. This versatility will allow for a more diverse and sustainable hydrogen production infrastructure.

Research is needed to show the competitiveness of hydrogen-powered cars

The low availability of fuelling infrastructure is a key challenge for the wider adoption of hydrogen-powered cars, but heavy industry investment will be key to reducing this concern over the next 5 years.

This expansion of hydrogen infrastructure must focus on production facilities, refuelling stations, and distribution networks.

Another bottleneck is the lack of confidence people and companies have in hydrogen because of the lack of current knowledge and investment. The industry must focus on promoting the production and adoption of hydrogen-fuelled cars.

These have the advantage of zero tailpipe emissions, as they only produce water vapour. Supporting research and development in this can help to improve fuel cell technology, make it more cost-effective, and help companies to realise hydrogen’s potential.

By introducing financial incentives and subsidies, consumers and businesses will be more encouraged to buy hydrogen-powered vehicles. This can help to offset the higher initial costs that are associated with hydrogen cars and promote their adoption in the market.

Another investment that is needed to be seen is in research and development initiatives. Research into hydrogen-powered cars will help to improve technology and efficiency and will help to make these cars more competitive with traditional engines.

Seeing collaboration between the government, manufacturers, and energy companies will be essential in accelerating the growth of the hydrogen car industry. These partnerships can lead to shared infrastructure and the boosting of the hydrogen economy.

By implementing these incentives, the UK hydrogen car industry can make significant progress in cutting fuel costs and reducing carbon emissions, contributing to more sustainable transportation.

Countries are working to expand their hydrogen infrastructure

Major automakers are focusing on developing hydrogen fuel cell passenger vehicle prototypes in addition to battery cars, as part of the transition to phase out fossil fuels.

Before this, carmakers in Japan such as Toyota and Honda, were one of the only manufacturers that were developing and pushing for hydrogen fuel cell cars for years.

Now, we are seeing countries all over the world working to expand their hydrogen fuelling infrastructure and research into hydrogen’s potential.

Hydrogen Industry Leaders are here to guide you through our multimedia platform and events. These in-person events bring together the people working in hydrogen with the people looking to transition into the hydrogen sector.

Secure your place at one of our events to network with key industry leaders, gain valuable insights from hydrogen experts, participate in engaging discussions, and discover how you can explore hydrogen to benefit you.

Visit our event page to find out more: https://hydrogenindustryleaders.com/hydrogen-sessions/