Hydrogen fuel cell cars like the Toyota Mirai could be on Irish roads by 2023

First Hydrogen Cars Could Be On Irish Roads By 2023

Hydrogen fuel cell cars like the Toyota Mirai could be on Irish roads by 2023
Hydrogen fuel cell cars like the Toyota Mirai could be on Irish roads by 2023

A new report investigating the potential of hydrogen to help solve Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions from transport has found that hydrogen cars, buses and trucks can become a reality by 2023. 35,000 hydrogen vehicles could be on our roads within a decade, which would remove 300,000 tonnes of CO2 from our atmosphere every year.

The report from Hydrogen Mobility Ireland provides Government with a potential roadmap to assist the decarbonisation of Irish transport.

Transport accounts for approximately 20% of Ireland’s total greenhouse gases and is the largest source of energy-related CO2 emissions in Ireland. In 2017 it was responsible for 39%, and it is also the sector where CO2 emissions are growing the fastest.

Hydrogen is a very low carbon fuel and will be produced locally in Ireland. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles consume hydrogen as a fuel to produce electrical power for the vehicle, with water vapour the only by-product. They can complement battery electric vehicles as they offer greater range and faster refuelling, can be used at short notice, and are particularly suitable for heavy passenger and goods vehicles.

At the launch of the report, Minister Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, said, “The Climate Action Plan, launched earlier this year, commits to over 180 actions across every sector of society to step up our response to the climate challenge. These actions were chosen based on an assessment of the least cost, least burden options currently available. The plan is a rolling plan, designed to integrate best practice as it emerges and adapt to emerging new technologies. I welcome this research as a valuable insight into a potential pathway for the introduction of hydrogen vehicles in Ireland between now and 2030.”

The report also suggests that Ireland should follow the lead of countries like China, US and Japan who have committed to each having in the region of one million hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2030 and the Government should apply similar incentives to hydrogen fuel cell vehicles as they do to battery electric vehicles. Clusters of refuelling stations should be built to give early adopters confidence.

Dr. James Carton, DCU, Catherine O’ Kelly, Bord Gais Energy, Minister Richard Bruton, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Mark Teevan, Chairman of Hydrogen Mobility Ireland and Ben Madden, Element Energy at the recent Hydrogen Mobility Ireland report launch
Dr. James Carton, DCU, Catherine O’ Kelly, Bord Gais Energy, Minister Richard Bruton, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Mark Teevan, Chairman of Hydrogen Mobility Ireland and Ben Madden, Element Energy at the recent Hydrogen Mobility Ireland report launch

By 2030, a network of 76 stations would ensure that 50% of the population of the island would live in a town with a Hydrogen Refuelling Station as well as providing adequate coverage of major roads, while a network of 27 electrolysers with renewable generators (mostly wind farms) would supply the hydrogen fuel.

According to the report, hydrogen vehicles will be cost-competitive with conventional fuel vehicles by mid next decade. Buses, vans and taxis could be deployed as the catalyst for market establishment.

In a positive adoption scenario this will lead to a national fuel call fleet of 2,000 HGVs, 880 bus/coaches, 6,800 vans and 29,000 cars by 2030.

Some hydrogen mobility Ireland members are already planning on initiating hydrogen production in Ireland, including Indaver at its waste to energy plant in Co Meath.

Chairman of Hydrogen Mobility Ireland and Corporate Affairs Director at Toyota Ireland, Mark Teevan, said: “At Toyota we see hydrogen fuel cell vehicles as having a very big role to play in a full decarbonisation of transport. The challenge is to get started since not only is a new infrastructure needed but also the production of a new fuel. With Hydrogen Mobility Ireland, we have started the process of coordinating industry’s response to this challenge whilst also planning to align with academic and policy thinking. This report is the first output of HMI and leads us to the next part of the challenge which is to implement our findings.”