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Hydrogen trucking could be competitive with diesel by 2030 with policy support, says whitepaper

Source:  Update:2022-09-21 19:31:48 Author:  Browse:51

A H2Accelerate collaboration whitepaper has suggested that hydrogen-powered trucking in Europe could be competitive with diesel as early as 2030, given the right policy support.

The whitepaper stresses that the deployment of hydrogen trucking must start now, and rapidly ramp-up if Net Zero targets are to be achieved by 2050, with an onus on ensuring that the demand for hydrogen-powered trucks increases with time.

Formed by Linde, OMV, Shell, TotalEnergies, Daimler Truck, IVECO, and Volvo Group, the H2Accelerate collaboration hopes to promote the use of hydrogen in the decarbonisation of long-haul, heavy-duty trucking across Europe.




According to the collaboration, demand will be best built through a partnership seeing the private sector making major investments in R&D, production facilities, and green hydrogen infrastructure, whilst the public sector creates the conditions to stimulate the deployment of the trucks.

Through a total cost of ownership (TCO) assessment of operating a fuel cell and diesel truck over time by Element Energy, the whitepaper has suggested that in the early years when deployment volumes of hydrogen trucks are low, the cost differential to diesel will be high, and therefore sees a requirement for capital subsides for trucks and early refuelling stations.

Furthering this, the assessment recognised that as costs begin to fall, public support can decrease in parallel, which eventually would remove the need for direct subsidy.

Commenting on the whitepaper’s finding, Ben Madden, Director at Element Energy and Spokesperson for H2Accelerate, said, “Truck and station manufacturers are ready and willing to invest in hydrogen trucking. Our analysis clearly shows however that this alone will not be sufficient if long-haul trucking is to continue to achieving Net Zero by 2050.

“State support is critical to achieving the cost reductions needed to enable customers to purchase hydrogen truck in meaningful numbers.”

Element has said that the following policy implementations would create the conditions for a thriving hydrogen truck market in Europe:

  • EU member state implementation of a favourable Renewable Energy Directive (RED) II framework for hydrogen is essential. With the addition of RED III proposals to see green hydrogen treated like advanced biofuels
  • Introduction of a road toll of €0.40/km for diesel vehicles and €0.10/km for zero-emission vehicles to help create demand for hydrogen trucks.
  • Taxation of fuels which recognises the changing landscape towards more decarbonised and zero carbon fuels and zero emission vehicles, which does not disadvantage hydrogen and other sustainable fuels until their business case is established.
  • A carbon tax on diesel starting at a minimum of €30/tonne CO2 and increasing through time to a minimum of €60/tonne, in addition to the tax currently applied on diesel today.

RED II was passed by the European Parliament on Wednesday (September 14), ahead of European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, announcing details of the creation of the ‘European Hydrogen Bank’ which promises to invest €3bn to develop the hydrogen market.

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