Viewpoint Hydrogen vs Electric


With major manufacturers bringing forward their electric programmes to within the next few years and some like Volvo going all electric by 2030, there is a real challenge afoot to ensure the charging infrastructure is in place to support the roll out.

Although electric car ownership is on the up, with research showing 1 in 3 families are planning to make their next car purchase electric, the issue of public charging is the biggest barrier to adoption.

Even for fleet owners take up is hampered unless employers commit to investing in home or office charging.

Delivery vehicles operating in city centres are switching over to electric with the incentive of Clean Air Zones but for long haul vehicles, wireless charging will be key to the feasibility of moving away from ICE propulsion.

Buses are being hailed as the catalyst for public transport electrification with the advent of connected cities and smart charging but the cost of energy and the impact on the national grid needs to be addressed.

Managing a technological shift of this magnitude has so many aspects which need coalesce it has prompted the SMMT in its blueprint for an electric revolution urge the government to focus on incentives, infrastructure and most importantly a plan for market and industrial transition.

Meanwhile some pundits don’t believe an all-electric future is the way forward and are advocating a hydrogen hybrid.

Although the infrastructure for hydrogen is minimal and cost of fuel production is high, in terms of consumer behaviour the short refuelling and long-range capability make it easier to adopt.

An approach to public transport however demonstrates some genuine forward thinking. Only this week 20 hydrogen buses by Wright Bus were added to the London fleet of electric buses along with a matching hydrogen refuelling station.

There is no doubt this is an exciting time as more players in the market begin developing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles - JLR the latest maker to throw its hat in the ring and if the balance is not achieved in the electric pathway, electric could be leapfrogged by hydrogen.

Stay tuned!

Image credit: Photo by Trollinho on Unsplash

Posted in Blog on Jun 29, 2021

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