Who Will Win the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vs. Battery Electric Battle? The Truth May Surprise You.
While there may be questions and controversy about how to achieve it, it is apparent we need to attain zero-emission output by 2050 to prevent catastrophic changes to our Earth’s atmosphere. In fact, one of the harmful effects of global warming is the faster spread of infectious diseases, and we have all witnessed in the past two years how disruptive a global pandemic is on our health and our economy. Achieving zero emissions will require us collectively to implement several solutions, from solar power to wind power and alternative fuels. One crucial alternative fuel is hydrogen.
Hydrogen fuel has received criticism in the news media because its production isn’t completely independent of fossil fuels. Hydrogen isn’t really produced per se; the “production process” involves separating the hydrogen molecules from water. One of the most common ways to make significant amounts of hydrogen fuel for commercial and consumer transportation is steam-methane using water, electricity, and natural gas. These are the only materials needed to operate a PowerTap Hydrogen generator–in a unit sized at about 1,000 square feet.
Natural gas is not a renewable resource–it is sourced from the ground in a similar fashion to petroleum. The difference is that natural gas burns clean and doesn’t emit harmful emissions into the atmosphere. There’s also some consternation over how the electricity is produced and how much reliance the source has on fossil fuels.
Here’s why hydrogen fuel continues to be critical for our future.
The components needed to manufacture hydrogen fuel are one thing, but more importantly, are the emissions produced by cars and trucks on the roads. The primary source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States is transportation. Nearly one-third of our harmful impact on the atmosphere will be eliminated when we achieve zero emissions. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles produce zero harmful emissions.
It’s important to note that much of the criticism of hydrogen fuel as a functional, zero-emission fuel comes from leaders of the battery-electric movement, such as Elon Musk. Currently valued at $964.64 billion, Tesla has experienced substantial technological achievements in designing highly efficient electric vehicle batteries. However, these leaders overlook the need for more than one type of alternative fuel in our quest to achieve zero emissions by 2050.
Additionally, electric battery power just isn’t sufficient for many commercial vehicles. Long haul truckers don’t have the time it requires to recharge the battery as often as they need it. Also, their batteries are much heavier than hydrogen fuel cell technology, which means the amount of available cargo a truck can carry and remain underweight limits are much less. Plus, electric vehicles don’t have the same amount of horsepower needed for large commercial units. As long as commercial vehicles are on the road, hydrogen fuel will be the preferred fuel for commercial transportation vehicles.
Martin Daum, CEO of Daimler Truck in Europe, described the need for both hydrogen fuel cell and battery electric commercial vehicles to achieve zero emissions in our future during a recent interview with CNBC:
“We go for both because both … make sense,” he replied, going on to explain how different technologies would be appropriate in different scenarios.
“In general, you can say: If you go to city delivery where you need lower amounts of energy in there, you can charge overnight in a depot, then it’s certainly battery electric,” he said.
“But the moment you’re on the road, the moment you go from Stockholm to Barcelona … in my opinion, you need something which you can transport better and where you can refuel better, and that is ultimately H2.”
What this means for your business.
If you’re in the business of selling diesel fuel and gasoline, the playing field will change in the relative near future. It is only a matter of time before consumer and commercial vehicle owners switch to alternative fuels, and if you haven’t made the change, you’ll be left in the dust. Both consumer and commercial drivers will likely choose between battery electric vehicles for shorter trips and local commuting and hydrogen fuel cells for longer distances and more significant horsepower needs.
While hydrogen fuel sales are primarily limited to California currently, many predict a surge as gas stations add hydrogen fuel to their menus and extend the infrastructure across the United States. Being a part of this wave is easier than you think. With a reasonable investment and only 1,000 square feet of land, you can produce fuel on-site using one of our PowerTap Hydrogen generators.
Best of all, with PowerTap, you won’t have to worry about forecasting demand, selling out of fuel, or having too much inventory to store. You produce as much as you need each day for your customers’ demands.
Are you interested in learning more about PowerTap Hydrogen? Contact us today and secure your future with us.