Fuel cell cars play in the United States
The use of fuel cell cars, also known as FCEVs, is expected to increase in the United States in the coming years.
The U.S. transportation sector may still rely almost entirely on fossil fuels for now, but hydrogen cars are expected to see a significant increase in use over the next three to five years, according to a forecast from an analyst at the Gas Technology Institute (GTI).
GTI business development manager Nico Bouwkamp said some US regions have set ambitious goals for the second half.
Bouwkamp’s forecast highlighted the number of U.S. regions that have set aggressive targets for shifting primary fuel for public transportation in directions other than hydrocarbons.
In a recent GTI public webinar broadcast, Bouwkamp explained that hydrogen vehicles in public transport have advanced significantly over the past two decades. Twenty years ago, H2-powered buses, cars and trains were nothing more than a concept. At that time, researchers were unable to agree on exactly how to use H2, mix it with other fuels, or transport or store it.
Today, on the other hand, the technology surrounding H2 has been pushed to the point that vehicles powered by it are being sold in countries around the world. Going forward, there remain significant challenges to mainstream use, and the energy industry will need to catch up to these challenges before H2-powered buses, cars, and trains are widely used nationwide. not to mention the world. For the United States, a well-developed supply chain for parts, components, and strong H2 distribution are required.
What will it take for the United States to start seeing fuel cell cars everywhere?
“It needs to be scaled up to bring down the cost of these vehicles,” Bouwkamp said of the FCEV supply chain for parts and components. He pointed out that the additional production and transport of H2 is also a necessity.
California stands out among US states for tackling these issues head-on by establishing incentives for zero-emission transportation. It determined that all freight trucks must be powered by zero-emission fuels by 2035. So will all new cars and trucks on California roads by 2045, for example via electric vehicles or hydrogen. “These are very aggressive goals,” Bouwkamp said.
GTI director of research and development, Ted Barnes, said policymakers looking to decarbonise will need to focus on the transportation sector. This sector is the largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, accounting for 29% of the total, according to data from a 2021 study by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
H2 key questions – Can combustion engines run on hydrogen? Take a closer look! How viable and efficient are hydrogen combustion engines? With the promise of H2 as a zero-emission primary fuel, opportunities exist in many technologies. Fuel cells may be the best known right now, but we’re only at the start of the game. Experts are also studying the opportunities of hydrogen engines. This includes the big names as we’ve seen in recent Toyota news headlines! Join HFN as we take a closer look at how companies are already converting tractor-trailers to clean H2s. Don’t miss our learning center and our free e-book resources for more information.