EU moves ahead with hydrogen fuel initiativeJuly 23, 2013
Second phase of ambitious hydrogen fuel partnership comes to fruition
The European Union is preparing to enter into the second phase of an ambitious public-private partnership concerning clean transportation and the use of hydrogen fuel therein. The partnership is widely known as the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Technology Initiative. The goal of this partnership is to bring together both public and private entities and task them with tackling the various issues associated with clean transportation. As the name suggests, the partnership has a primary focus on hydrogen fuel and the fuel cells that use hydrogen to produce electrical power.
EU to invest more into the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Technology Initiative
For the second phase of the initiative, the European Union is expected to invest some $1.8 billion to the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Technology Initiative. This funding is expected to help the initiative make further progress on its research and development endeavors as well as help boost the establishment of a working hydrogen fuel infrastructure. While infrastructure is important to the future success of hydrogen-powered vehicles, much of the initiative’s efforts have been focused on improving fuel cell technology itself.
Reducing the cost of fuel cells deemed a priority
Currently, hydrogen fuel cells receive a great deal of criticism due to their expensive nature. These fuel cells are so expensive due to the materials that they use, such as platinum. In terms of transportation, the costs associated with fuel cells have a prominent impact on the overall cost of the vehicles that use them. As such, these vehicles are likely to be somewhat more expensive than their conventional counterparts. Partnerships like the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Technology Initiative work to reduce the overall cost of fuel cell technology, thereby enabling the development of less expensive hydrogen-powered vehicles.
Hydrogen fuel could help lower emissions in Europe
The partnership notes that hydrogen fuel cells have advanced at a rapid pace and are quickly approaching a point where they can be considered commercially viable in transportation. The European Union has a strong interest in hydrogen fuel, which is strongly backed by the auto industry. The governing body believes that hydrogen fuel could be an effective solution to the emissions problems that exist throughout Europe.