Hydrogen is a hot topic because its unique properties make it ideal in the transition to clean fuel; combustion emits just pure water rather than CO2 and other harmful substances. Hydrogen is not without its challenges, however. There are three methods of hydrogen production (‘grey, blue and green’), each with their own pros and cons relating to sustainability and costs.
Overall, there is currently not enough hydrogen to power all cars, so the use of hydrogen as fuel has so far mainly been limited to buses in public transport networks. Heavy freight transport is regarded as offering the biggest opportunities in the future, mainly because hydrogen enables a longer range than rechargeable batteries. However, a number of hydrogen-powered passenger cars are already available, such as the Toyota Mirai and Hyundai Nexo, and hydrogen is attracting increased attention in the light commercial vehicle (LCV) segment too.
The launch of more new models of hydrogen-powered passenger cars could provide much-needed help in bringing prices down, thus stimulating both demand and investment in further development of this market. This would also help to tackle the issue of the sparse refueling infrastructure; hydrogen is currently available at just over 150 refueling stations in the whole of Europe.
In terms of energy efficiency, solar energy (along with onshore wind) is hard to beat, of course. Vehicles charged by the sun’s rays have long been regarded as science fiction. But in fact, a fully electric solar-powered vehicle – the Lightyear One – is now scheduled for market launch this spring and will be exclusively available through LeasePlan!