Our toilet-trained cows are already doing their bit to cut emissions. 🐄 But when it comes to transport, automakers are still gassed up over that other gas, sitting at number one on the periodic table, hydrogen. The debate’s raging on asking just how practical the planet’s lightest element is for our cars? On one hand, automakers like Toyota (TM) and Hyundai have long been cheerleaders, designing hydrogen fuel cell cars and trucks which, they argue, deliver low emissions and fast refuelling. A hydrogen vehicle can be fully fueled in the time it takes to listen to this global smash hit (#sorrynotsorry), while electric vehicles can take hours.
On the other hand, Volkswagen argues that when it comes to cars, hydrogen just isn’t efficient. The main problem, they say, is that so much energy is needed simply to produce and transport hydrogen - a hydrogen fuel cell car can require energy from three or four times more windmills than an electric vehicle needs to go the same distance. Even self-styled Teknoking Elon Musk has called hydrogen vehicles ‘extremely silly’. Oof! And when the tank needs filling, where the heck to fill up? 🤷♀️ Currently, most countries lack the infrastructure for hydrogen production and refuelling, something companies like Plug Power (PLUG) and FuelCell Energy (FCEL) in the US, and Hirnga in New Zealand plan to change.
People agree on one thing though… Hydrogen is still the most effective option for reducing emissions in heavy industries like trucks, shipping and aviation, where installing tonnes of batteries just ain’t going to fly. ✈ Airbus has even called hydrogen planes ‘the ultimate solution’. Could a hydrogen future be the secret sauce to reduce emissions in 100% pure, ahem, New Zealand? Hydrogen production projects have been floated in Northland and Southland to make use of our 84% renewable energy to produce ‘green’ gas. Welcome to Aotearoa, a future hydrogen haven.