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The hydrogen revolution-I: It is getting competitive
Oct 06: Indian Oil Corporation has been experimenting with hydrogen vehicles for over a decade but that was at a time when the cost of hydrogen fuel was far too prohibitive
8But the technology is now maturing and there is increasing talk of hydrogen vehicles competing with their conventional counterparts as early as 2025.
8The economics is slowly but inexorably turning out to be favourable.
8A basic calculation of the fueling costs, on a per-kilometer basis, puts hydrogen prices into context for a potential fuel cell vehicle consumer. A future hydrogen price of $4 per kilogram is equivalent to about 3.7 cents per kilometer for existing hydrogen cars now produced by the likes of Toyota, Hyundai, Renault and others.
8But at a current hydrogen cost of about $10 per kilogram results in a cost per kilometer that is 2.5 times greater. Comparable conventional cars cost about 5.8 to 6.9 cents per kilometer to fuel, based on 80 cents per liter ($3 per gallon) gasoline, meaning the fuel cell vehicles are 37%–47% less expensive per kilometer to fuel at the expected future price of hydrogen. The point to also note is that fuel cell vehicles are significantly more efficient than conventional engines.
8The cost advantage remains true as long as the price of hydrogen is roughly $4 per kilogram, or more generally stays within 30%–40% of the price-per-unit energy of gasoline excluding fuel taxes.
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