More scope for greater range with hydrogen is still in the mix. And there may be some deep pockets prepared to support wider use of the fuel?
The high note:
BP, Caltex, Woodside and Hyundai are just a few of the blue chips who can see there’s money to be made out of hydrogen.
Why might they have an interest?
Alternatively, hydrogen could be extracted from fossil fuels such as methane or brown coal using carbon capture and storage, a process that is currently on trial in Victoria.
Interestingly current technology used for breaking down fossil fuels (hydrocarbons) to produce hydrogen also produces CO2 as the main byproduct. Carbon capture and storage sounds very similar to the suggestion of carbon sequestration to enable continued use of fossil fuels for power generation.
What is the economic reality of a battery electric future or efficient electrolysis of hydrogen for fuel cells or direct combustion? For companies such as BP, Woodside etc that depend on fossil fuels for their existence and the value added distribution chain, possible extinction?
If there is a continued significant shift to battery technology there will be no role of consequence for any business currently part of the fossil fuel cycle. The majority of fuel needs may likely be met between residential solar PV, charging stations at every parking space (council and private parking provided) and the electricity distributors.
The one hope for the fossil fuel companies is that the hydrogen fuel cycle for EV’s and or direct combustion can catch up and compete with battery EV’s on purchase cost, while offering greater range and flexibility. This would leave an opening for the petroleum industry to transition to being a hydrogen production, distribution and refueling service.
How would you promote hydrogen being sourced from a fossil fuel? Anything is possible. California which has made the most significant move to hydrogen fuel cell vehicles sources the majority of the hydrogen fuel required from fossil fuels.