Hyundai and Audi agreed to work together and share their hydrogen fuel cell car technology. Both automakers will have to work together and share components to help advance hydrogen fuel cell technology into the mainstream automotive sector.
Commodity Inside View:
Over the last few years, others automakers also made similar arrangements to develop the technology. For instance, GM and Honda started collaborating to set up a factory which is expected to begin operating by 2020 to mass produce hydrogen fuel cells for their vehicles. Toyota, Honda and Nissan have also been working together to help increase hydrogen refuel stations in Japan.
Fuel cell technology also provides an opportunity for those automakers which are lagging behind in battery electric vehicles technology, which is currently penetrating in the market faster and benefiting from increasing number of charging stations.
Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) is a type of hybrid vehicle that uses fuel cells in combination with energy storage device to power the electric motor. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are already running on roads. The mechanism behind the fuel cell vehicles is that it uses fuel cells instead of a battery or can use a combination of fuel cells with battery or supercapacitor to run an electric motor. Fuel cells consume compressed hydrogen from tank and oxygen from surrounding air to generate electricity. FCEVs are considered as zero-emission vehicles as water is the only by-product in the production of electricity from fuel cells.
Commodity Inside expects that the technology is still far from becoming the mainstream due to high costs and lack of fueling infrastructure. The growth of deploying fuel stations infrastructure is still really slow which will hinder the growth of FCEVs. There are some public hydrogen fueling stations, and new stations are being planned, in Japan, Europe and in other parts of the world. Currently, Japan is leading the market with a total of 91 stations, and Germany holds the second largest network of public fueling stations in the world with having 56 fueling stations.
Fuel cell technology can also be applied to other sectors. With the increasing demand for portable chargers as a power source for consumer electronics items such as laptops and smartphones, there can also be untapped demand for portable fuel cells. The technology can also be widely used as a backup in various applications.
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