Hydrogen buses ‘could be a solution’ for Singapore as transport sector goes green: Britain’s largest bus manufacturer
Interest in fuel cells is growing, but there is still debate about its applications.
IEA’s Paoli said recent market developments put electric powertrains ahead of fuel cell ones, and in a net zero world, hydrogen will act to fill the gaps in hard-to-decarbonize areas, such as trucking. or sea transport.
âAt present, more than 350 models of electric cars are available while there are only three models for hydrogen cars. Similar trends are observed for buses and heavy trucks, although with a less marked proportion, âhe said.
âThis does not mean that fuel cells have to be scrapped for transport. There are still applications where they can be useful.
Long reach and flexibility are just some of the reasons the momentum is gathering momentum behind investing in fuel cells, according to Nigel Holmes, CEO of the Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association.
âOne of the expressions comes from an old advertisement that was circulating in the UK for Heineken lager beer. The ad was “refreshes the parts other beers can’t reach,” he explained.
âHydrogen is often referred to as Heineken of the energy system, reaching parts that cannot be easily processed by other means. In a zero carbon context, this is where hydrogen complements electrification, especially in transport.
Holmes said the Scottish town of Aberdeen is a prime example of a hydrogen fuel cell bus operating on normal routes without passengers really noticing the difference.
The introduction of these vehicles is the result of many years of capacity building and experimentation with technology. The result is a fleet of public transport with zero carbon emissions, and the secondary benefits of cleaner air in the city and less traffic noise.
The costs remain high, however, and this remains a challenge for many cities and countries, especially those in the developing world.
âThe technology is mature and now it’s more about how to cut costs to make them affordable. In the bus market, we are starting to see great progress. Scaling is one of the ways that costs can continue to drop, âsaid Holmes.