Plug-in cars with rechargeable batteries, and fuel cell vehicles that convert hydrogen gas into clean electricity.
So, why does everyone seem to focus on the plug-ins? Doesn’t hydrogen have a role to play too?
Ian Featherstone from the Energy Savings Trust recently ran a ‘green workshop’ for Grosvenor Leasing staff, and he says, "Hydrogen has zero tail pipe emissions like battery electric vehicles (BEVs), and has the advantage of having two or three-minute re-fuelling and a 300 plus mile range. The re-fuelling infrastructure is more conventional, too, but the fuel itself currently offers no price advantage over fossil fuels.”
It appears, therefore, that hydrogen is just as capable as plug-in but its commercial appeal isn’t strong.
This is something that scientists at Stanford University, California and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) found when they compared cars that run on batteries versus hydrogen fuel cells.
The researchers created future scenarios based on a town of 8000 residents, 10 to 20 years in the future, when battery and fuel cell vehicles are expected to be in much wider use.
Their conclusion was that all-electric battery vehicles offer a more affordable way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions than cars powered by hydrogen.