Major automotive companies increased their focus to hydrogen vehicle technology. Along with battery-powered electric vehicles, fuel cell based vehicles will also play important role in cutting carbon emissions. Fuel-cell and battery-powered both are actually electric vehicles with lots of similarities like motor, they just have the difference between batteries store electricity and fuel cell generate it onboard as per the requirement. A hydrogen vehicle is also effective in faster refueling.
The research on hydrogen vehicle technology significantly increased after 1990 and the investment also going increasing. This technology will be growing immensely because of its efficiency. Hydrogen gas mixes with oxygen in fuel cell and creates water with chemical reaction and thus electricity generates, is the basic principle of hydrogen vehicle technology. Electricity is converted into gas usually with Electrolysis-a process. In this process, 25% source energy losses, explained by Tom Baxter. This hydrogen is then compressed, chilled, and transported to fueling stations.
Along with cars, major companies now planning to make fuel cells for heavy vehicles like trucks etc, and increased their investment. Toyota is making fuel cell modules for heavy trucks in 2023. The plant is located in Kentucky. Toyota’s Mirai sedan is ready to set rival in fuel cell vehicles. The name itself has the meaning ‘future’ in the Japanese language. General Motors is preparing for commercial production and will supply the fuel cell modules to Navistar and Nikola. Hyundai launched the designs of concept vehicles. The concept of Trailer Drone is amazing. Hyundai intends to provide fuel cells in a cheaper rate and effective too. Hyundai aims to provide such modules for all possible commercial transportation vehicles including sports cars, ships, trains as well as drones. They are promoting these modules saying that the Next-level Fuel Cell System which they are launching in 2023. Hyundai started an investment of around 7 billion dollars in 2018. Hyundai Nexo is already in news claiming to have an amazing range of 610 km in hydrogen fuel cell-based sports car.
The fuel cell market will grow rapidly in the coming decades and is expected to reach to the size of some multi-trillion dollars. Research estimates that US alone will have around 7,00,000 jobs by 2030 in the hydrogen vehicle technology ecosystem.
India is introducing a Hydrogen mission, especially for heavy-duty commercial vehicles. It is expected that 30% of sales will be contributed by electric vehicles by 2030 and mostly 50% will come by two-wheelers. The government has introduced National Hydrogen Mission with the objective to boost green hydrogen as a renewable energy source and aims India to be a global green hydrogen hub that includes infrastructure, production and export. The government has proposed a huge budget of 8 billion dollars for the automotive sector to build hydrogen and electric vehicle including infrastructure. India has an objective of clean mobility by 2030. Thus, the Indian government is encouraging the automotive sector to build more zero-emission vehicles.
JPMorgan’s Elaine Wu predicts that one-third of commercial trucks will be made in China by 2050. Currently, China contributes less than 5% in the fuel cell vehicles. Beijing, China is aiming to sale 20% of new vehicles should be electric vehicles by 2025. China pledge to become carbon neutral by 2060 in which, fuel cell vehicles will play vital role. Japan government is also set to go high in fuel cell vehicles. They plan to launch 8,00,000 vehicles including 900 stations and the infrastructure by 2030.