Hydrogen fuel cell EVs offer promising low-GHG car option, study
According to the International Council on Clean Transportation, H2 has potential for passenger vehicles.
A new International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) study showed that only hydrogen fuel cell EVs and battery electrics have potential for use as low-greenhouse gas (GHG) emission producing vehicles.
Those two techs were underscored as the only realistic alternative passenger car powertrains and fuels.
The ICCT conducted a comprehensive worldwide and temporal lifecycle assessment of the GHG emission production of a range of different types of alternative passenger car power trains and fuels. What they determined was that there has yet to be an option for realistic global decarbonization of internal combustion engine vehicles. It pointed exclusively to hydrogen fuel cell EVs and to battery electric vehicles as the only options for very low-GHG in the passenger vehicle market.
The title of the analysis was “A global comparison of the life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions of combustion engine and electric passenger cars.” It conducted an examination of four unique yet globally representative regions. These included the United States, the European Union, China and India. They pinpointed the differences affecting those markets, which represented a combined 70 percent of global new passenger vehicle sales.
The study took into account many different factors about hydrogen fuel cell EVs and other vehicles.
The research examined the fuels for the alternative vehicles and the average carbon intensity associated with them. It compared those of 2021 to those for vehicles expected to be registered in 2030. This included the fuel itself as well as electricity mixes, biofuels and biogas. It also accounted for changes in carbon intensity throughout the usefully functioning lifespan of the vehicles.
The research also looked into electricity and fuel consumption based on a typical real-world use of the vehicle instead of basing the analysis exclusively on official test values. This was viewed as particularly important for PHEV GHG emission assessments.
The study took into account recent industrial-scale battery production data and took regional supply chains into account, which notably reduces the associated emissions from that pose processes when compared to earlier studies.
Hydrogen fuel cell EVs were assessed while taking into consideration near-term global warming potential from natural gas derived H2 and methane leakage pathway emissions. This was considered separately as methane contributes to global warming at a rate several times higher than other GHGs.