EU looks to better understand its hydrogen fuel infrastructure

December 9, 2014 0 By John Max
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Clean vehicles continue to become popular in Europe, with the EU showing favor for fuel cell vehicles

Clean transportation is gaining traction in Europe and many governments are beginning to look for ways to encourage consumers to purchase zero emission vehicles. The European Union’s TEN-T Program will be investing nearly $4 million in studying Europe’s current hydrogen fuel infrastructure in order to determine what efforts could be made to further expand this framework for fuel cell vehicles. These vehicles are expected to be released in some parts of Europe as early as next year.

Fuel cell vehicles are quickly gaining popularity, increasing the need for a working fuel infrastructure

Fuel cell vehicles rely on hydrogen fuel in order to function. The fuel cells that these vehicles use consume this hydrogen to produce electrical power and doing so produces no harmful emissions. Moreover, fuel cell vehicles are, in some cases, on par with their conventional counterparts when it comes to performance, making them a viable alternative to gasoline-powered vehicles. Many of the world’s leading automakers are planning to release fuel cell vehicles in 2015 and beyond, but these vehicles will need a working fuel infrastructure if they are meant to be successful.

New project aims to better understand the needs of Europe’s hydrogen infrastructure

European Union - Hydrogen FuelThe research project from the TEN-T Program is part of a larger endeavor to bolster Europe’s hydrogen infrastructure. The European Union has shown a great deal of favor for fuel cell vehicles, and clean transportation in general. As such, the governing body has launched initiatives that aid in the development of hydrogen fuel stations in Belgium, Finland, Poland, and several other countries. The project from the TEN-T Program will analyze research done by other organizations concerning the effective establishment of a hydrogen infrastructure.

Without infrastructure, fuel cell vehicles may fail

Without a comprehensive hydrogen infrastructure in place, fuel cell vehicles are not likely to find any significant degree of success. This would translate into major financial losses for the automakers developing and releasing these vehicles. Some automakers have opted to avoid fuel cells entirely because of the financial risks they represent, deciding instead to focus on developing conventional electric vehicles.