The Toyota Mirai is Toyota's hydrogen fuel cell car
The Toyota Mirai is Toyota’s hydrogen fuel cell car

A new group featuring a number of leading industrial companies has been founded in Ireland to plan and deliver a coordinated approach to the deployment of hydrogen transport in Ireland. Hydrogen Mobility Ireland (HMI) aims to plan a path to mass market introduction of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs).

The group plans to present their findings to a range of interested parties over the coming months, including an interim presentation to the Government’s Low Emission Vehicle Taskforce next month, and to publish a report in Q3 of this year on the potential role of hydrogen technology in the decarbonisation of the national transport fleet.

Using hydrogen as a fuel for transport

The use of hydrogen as a fuel for cars and heavy-duty vehicles can enable zero emissions transport. A fuel cell consumes hydrogen fuel and air to produce electrical power for the vehicle, with water vapour as the only by product. Utilising sustainable hydrogen in transport will aid Ireland in achieving its transport decarbonisation targets in a cost-effective manner. The transport sector is currently the second highest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Ireland.

Hydrogen Mobility Ireland is a new group forseeing the introduction of hydrogen fuel cell technology into Ireland
Hydrogen Mobility Ireland announces formation

Hydrogen fuel and vehicles are receiving significant interest in many countries such as China, Japan, Germany, the UK and in the US state of California. According to Hydrogen Mobility Ireland, these efforts will deliver significant cost reductions in the early 2020s, which Ireland can benefit from through a well-timed hydrogen introduction strategy. The launch of FCEVs will complement the progress already made on battery electric vehicles, with FCEV expected to be the preferred zero emission technology for longer range car consumers as well as offering a pathway to decarbonise other vehicle segments such as heavy goods vehicles and buses.

What’s next?

HMI has formed three working groups: hydrogen production, refuelling stations and FCEV rollout, and will work closely with the Hydrogen Ireland Association, which is reviewing the use of hydrogen for other sectors such as the built environment, integration with renewables and energy supply chains as well as the skills and training that will be needed.

Mark Teevan, a Director of Toyota Ireland, is the first Chairperson of Hydrogen Mobility Ireland. He commented, “Hydrogen Mobility Ireland is addressing one of the most pressing questions of our time – how to effectively and efficiently decarbonise transport in Ireland. Climate change is now at the fore of the country’s political agenda, and we need to both increase and focus our efforts to get real traction on this. Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles are capable of delivering zero emissions driving across many vehicle categories.”

The Hyundai Nexo is a hydrogen fuel cell powered crossover SUV
The Hyundai Nexo is a hydrogen fuel cell powered crossover SUV

Hydrogen Mobility Ireland:

  • Industrial members:
    • BOC
    • Bord Gáis Energy
    • Bord ná Mona
    • CIE group
    • Ervia/GNI
    • Harris Group/LDV
    • Hydrogenics
    • Hyundai Ireland
    • Indaver
    • Toyota Ireland
    • Viridian/Energia
  • Policy Stakeholders:
    • Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
    • Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
    • Northern Ireland Department of Infrastructure
    • Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland
  • Representing Hydrogen Ireland Association – Dr James Carton, Dublin City University
  • Representing the GenComm project, NI – Paul McCormack, Belfast Metropolitan College