• John Stonier

The hydrogen revolution is about to roll

Updated: Mar 27

In 2005 I first became interested in electric vehicles after my spouse purchased at Toyota Prius gasoline hybrid. The electric side of that car fascinated me. To be able to silently glide down city streets on a silky smooth motor drive and regenerate the electrical energy expended while braking at the next intersection was magical. That electric spark set off a bigger quest - were electric cars the future of North America's car centric culture? And what was going to be the energy supply on board the coming wave of electric cars? We had only recently graduated from 160 year old technology of clunky lead-acid storage batteries to lithium ion chemistries. Was that going to be enough?

As we write this in 2021, electric cars indeed have surpassed the threshold for feasibility and enthusiastic fandom. The power and energy balance for passenger car use is completely adequate -- and easy -- with an ever expanding network of fast chargers and at home charging resources. It never made sense to purchase and electric car and not fill it up from your vastly cheaper household electricity. Even at the higher charges at public fast chargers, electric car drivers pay less per mile than the gasoline equivalent.

The challenge now, is not passenger cars. It's the working, commercial vehicles that keep our world economies functioning. Trucks, heavy equipment, trains, ships and aeroplanes.

Diesel dominated trucks are only about 11% of all road vehicles, but contribute more than 70% of all greenhouse gases, and air-borne particulates and pollution. It is here that hydrogen has a significant role to play because of a whole host of factors that do not apply to the consumer car.

Signature Renewables is a consultancy established to provide commercial vehicle operators with the best of breed technology to meet their operational requirements and to de-carbonize for a sustainable future, not just environmentally, but in financial terms. We believe hydrogen is the missing link for fulfilling the demanding requirements not only for heavy duty commercial vehicle de-carbonization, but also for the grid support for new energy demands placed on our electric utility systems, including the emerging demand for high power energy from the conversion of the consumer car fleet to electric. Where it all started.

Going forward, the hydrogen era will unfold in many unexpected ways. It won't necessarily be today's leaders, or today's technology that will carve the path to the future. This is the space that Signature Renewables is building a practice to build solutions that work for our clients.


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