February 28, 2024

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The other side of hydrogen cars: pollution, higher prices, and more inconveniences

The other side of hydrogen cars: pollution, higher prices, and more inconveniences

Green hydrogen promises to reduce emissions and provide clean energy. (Europe Press/ENAGÁS RENOVABLE)

poster 0 emissions The General Traffic Department determines the most energy efficient vehicles. The vehicles included in this classification are: battery electric vehicle (BEV), battery electric vehicle in Spanish; Range Extended Electric Vehicle (REEV), i.e. Range Extended Electric Vehicle; plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), which are hybrid vehicles with a range of at least 40 kilometers in exclusively electric mode; Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV), which stands for Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle; And a hydrogen internal combustion engine vehicle (HICEV), i.e. a hydrogen combustion vehicle.

However, despite being classified as “zero emissions”, hydrogen combustion vehicles are not as positive for the environment as they may seem, as explained by OCU, Spain’s largest consumer organisation. It is true that it is “0 emissions” when used, however Hydrogen production does not pollute. At the moment, although there are models for sale in Spain, they are not applicable in our country for almost anyone.”

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OCU points out that only two hydrogen-powered cars are sold in Spain: the Toyota MiraiSedan starting at €65,000; And the hyundai nexo, It is a large SUV with a starting price of 73,450 euros. However, they do not have high sales numbers: “In 2022, 4 units were sold, and so far this year another 6 units have been sold.”

These are vehicles that are not affordable for all budgets, and although the price of hydrogen is around €10 per kilogram, this means paying around €800 worth of hydrogen fuel every 10,000 kilometres, while a modern petrol car can cost around €1,200. In gasoline every 10,000 km is still not affordable. “Although it is somewhat cheaper, The savings do not offset the high cost of purchasing the carRefers to the organization.

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“If we want a ‘zero emission’ car, it will be more economical to buy an electric car, both in terms of purchase price and cost of use (about 400 euros of electricity every 10,000 km),” they recommend.

Advantages of OCU include that it is sustainable, refueling is quick, the 0 emission label allows access to low-emission areas in cities, and it offers tax benefits.

Among the disadvantages are the price of fuel and the difficulty of refueling, as there are only about 20 refueling points throughout Spain. “This means that the majority of users, even if they wanted to, would not yet be able to afford these cars,” they comment, adding that “it will be almost impossible to make long trips.”