A Look Into H2-Mobility- Part II

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The last part of this insights piece showed the introduction and the statistical overview of hydrogen Fuel Cells in several countries. This article will give a decent picture of the further coverage by Deloitte China & Ballard in its report Fueling the Future of Mobility, Volume 1. The total cost of ownership and the environmental scenario in an account of hydrogen fuel cells are the main points.

Analytics of TCO

An exemplary analysis done by Deloitte China & Ballard shows the fuel cell economic contrast with BEVs and ICEVs in its Total Cost of Ownership model. Both operational and vehicle-build aspects are covered in this deep analysis which includes three geographical regions of the US, China, and Europe.

TCO Framework; Courtesy: Courtesy: Deloitte China & Ballard

With no surprise, FCEVs are more expensive than the competitor sets in the US. “The biggest costs differences come from the energy module. Current fuel cell system is still expensive and costs approximately 1,500 USD per kw”, mentioned in the report. Besides the energy module of fuel cells, component mark-up costs for FCEVs and BEVs also play a significant role in the price. The fuel cell and battery replacement costs for FCEVs and BEVs add an additional burden to the operator followed by infrastructure build costs. However, with the trend of adoption of FCEVs, the decrease in the infrastructure cost is worth noting. “With the large-scale application of hydrogen energy and the improvement of scales of economy, the hydrogen infrastructure cost is predicted to drop below 2 USD per bus per 100 km by 2029”.

From the analytical model of TCO of China for 2019, FCEVs are around 178 USD per 100 km, while the TCO of BEVs and ICE vehicles are 101 USD per 100 km and 74 USD per 100 km respectively. The TCO for FCEVs is predicted to get declining to 55 USD/100 Km by 2029 (point is, lower than the TCO of BEVs and ICEVs). And the credits to be given to actually decline in the prices of fuel cell system and its parts replacement cost.

But Europe has been observed a rapid decline in the TCO of FCEVs than the US and China. A predicted TCO of FCEVs in 2023 would be lower than BEVs, shifting from 190 USD/ 100 Km to 124 USD/ 100 Km. And for the fiscal year 2024, it is predicted to reach 116 USD/ 100 Km which is lower than that of ICEVs.

Environment Impacts Cannot be unnoticed

Indeed, Hydron fuel cells are the future promising alternative in the greener world but not at the cost of mother nature. The report has pondered deeply over the environmental scenarios and impacts.

Globally today, annual production of pure hydrogen is around 70 million tonnes (“Mt”), most of which is used for oil refining and industry production (of ammonia, for instance). Only < 0.01 Mt of hydrogen is now used in FCEVs“, stated in the report. And reason involves the unclear practices of hydrogen production. The efficiency of hydrogen production comes out to be lower than the others. However, R&D under various stages has been reached to produce sustainable fuel production. But the power of wind, biomass, and of course solar can also be the future pathways.

Recycling is one of the most challenging aspects of this technology. As per the report, FCEVs have less GHG emissions than BEVs during the disposal process. Currently, recycling methods are very at the early stages.

All in all

The economic contrast in various regions in the form of the TCO model has been greatly studied and shown in the report. Talking about India, recently some private leaders have come up with the determination to invest in future mobility. And for the same many policies and incentives are reframed by the institutional bodies. The future pathways of Hydrogen Fuel Cells seem promising and look for rapid adoption in the future.

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