New safety standards could affect hydrogen fuel and transportationJuly 5, 2013
Hydrogen fuel vehicles confront safety concerns
Hydrogen-powered vehicles are on the horizon, but these vehicles must first overcome some daunting challenges before they can reach the global market. Two particular challenges — cost and infrastructure — receive the majority of the attention when it comes to hydrogen fuel and its use in transportation. There is another issue that has received somewhat modest attention over the past few years. The safety of hydrogen-powered vehicles has been a disputed issue for some time, but this issue may soon be resolved due to new regulations being adopted by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).
Japanese safety standards adopted by UNECE
The regulations being embraced by UNECE originated in Japan, where the government has been pushing to promote hydrogen transportation somewhat aggressively. These regulations require that hydrogen-powered vehicles live up to Japanese safety standards, which are considered quite strict when compared to those of other countries. UNECE has determined that these safety standards could create a favorable environment for the global hydrogen fuel vehicle market and has begun to introduce these regulations to its signatory nations.
Safety standards will open up 33 markets around the world to automakers
The integration of these safety standards will allow Japanese automakers to mass produce their hydrogen-powered vehicles in no less than 33 prominent markets around the world. Other markets are likely to open up for these vehicles as nations that are not signatories to UNECE also embrace these safety standards. Currently, UNECE represents the majority of the European Union, as well as Japan, South Korea, Thailand, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia.
Benefits of safety standards may not be realized until the launch of hydrogen-powered vehicles
The new safety standard will be introduced in full by the end of this week. The changes are expected to be fully approved and integrated during this time. With the new standards in place, hydrogen fuel and its uses in transportation may make further progress in the global market. This progress will not be fully realized until these vehicles are officially launched, however.