An autonomy that exceeds 600 kilometers in a single load and a refueling time of just a few minutes are the main advantages with which hydrogen vehicles could be imposed on other electrical alternatives and be the most effective option to say goodbye to gasoline and diesel. That has been one of the main arguments around which the day has revolved “Future and viability of hydrogen powered vehicles“, organized by Iberian Press.
This is the second of the meetings, which takes over from the one held last year that revolved around natural gas cars, and which is part of the firm commitment of the editorial group to get involved with the environmental challenges of the planet. “Proof of this is the publication of interviews and reports that the 25 newspapers of the Iberian Press publish weekly in a exclusive section dedicated to climate change“, he highlighted Alfonso Nogales, Director of Digital Innovation of the Iberian Press.
That same commitment and willingness to take letters to meet the demanding emission reduction objectives have shown each and every one of the experts who have participated in this event, held at the Pons Foundation. The first round table, in which they participated Emilio Nieto, director of the National Hydrogen Center (CNH2); Fernando Palacín, managing director of the Hydrogen Foundation of Aragó; Eugenia Sillero, general secretary of GASNAM; and Arancha García, director of the industrial and environmental area of ANFAC, gave rise to an intense review of the current situation in which this industry is, the challenges facing the decarbonization of mobility in Spain and the necessary collaboration between the agents involved for the development of vehicular hydrogen.
“Hydrogen has many uses in the field of automotive and transportation and should have a leading role in the vehicle market, but many aspects have to be resolved for this. Manufacturers are doing their homework and they have been introducing vehicles with this technology in the market for years, but the infrastructure and initial cost barrier to put this type of vehicle on the market makes this not a reality today as it is in other European countries “, said Arancha García. And Emilio Nieto pointed in the same direction:” When defining the future development plans hydrogen is already mentioned, but you have to go one step further and try to combine all the efforts. Private public partnership is the only way to get everyone to row in the same direction. “
The hydrogen cars have great advantages to position itself as the real replacement for those fueled by lifelong fuels: they allow an autonomy of up to 600-800 kilometers and do not need refueling hours like those of batteries, but the recharge is carried out in a very similar way to that of the diesel or gasoline cars in just a few minutes. Eugenia Sillero made one more point in her favor: “Almost all heavy vehicle manufacturers are seeing hydrogen as the only energy vector capable of giving decarbonization solutions that this sector also has to address to meet its CO2 reduction objectives that are very demanding. “
With the advantages of these well-defined vehicles, the debate has not dodged the challenges that still lie ahead to become the real alternative for users. Mainly the energy production costs and an “insufficient and inefficient” infrastructure –As Arancha García described– which is currently reduced to four recharging points in Spain. “We need a clear commitment from the government for this type of technologies and a framework of aid for the development of hydrogen charging infrastructure in the same way as there is for electric charging points. With a good infrastructure we would get much more deployment of that kind of vehicles. “
Spain and the hydrogen industry
In the second round table, which was moderated by Alberto Martín Rivals, Partner responsible for Management Consulting and the Energy and Natural Resources sector of KPMG In Spain, the challenges of the automobile sector in a context of climatic emergency, the manufacturing costs of this type of energy and the need to generate hydrogen at a competitive cost were discussed. In the debate they took the floor Javier Arboleda, Service Senior Manager Hyundai; María Jaén, Enagás Hydrogen and New Energy Project Coordinator; Miguel Mayrata, director of Redexis Business Diversification; Roberto Álvarez, professor of electrical engineering and sustainable mobility at the Nebrija University; and Carlos Merino, Scientist and head of the Applications Unit of the National Hydrogen Center (CNH2) of Spain. Arboleda opened the colloquium by pointing out the need to say goodbye to fossil fuels at a time when sustainability is no longer an option but a social requirement. “The industry has a tremendous challenge, we have to get rid of our dependence on hydrocarbons but it has to be step by step. We have five electrification technologies in the market, from 45 volt hybrids, high voltage, pluggable, Electric battery and icing on the cake is hydrogen. It’s a step further, it has many advantages. ” Miguel Mayrata made some points in the same direction, in a world that does not admit more delays and in which all zero emission alternatives will coexist to that the user can choose based on their needs. “Mobility is not going to be electric, it is going to be emission-free and the electric vehicle with renewable energy will be one of the options. That concept has to start to get stuck, we can’t just talk about electrification because there are other equally renewable emission-free options“.
The place that Spain occupies within the international scenario in terms of the development of vehicular hydrogen is another of the points of interest of a day in which it looked with admiration towards countries like Japan or Germany, but in which it was also taken chest and stressed the need not to lose rope: “We are working for Spain to be on the map. We should not miss the opportunity or look the other way, but be able to, among all, play the role that belongs to us from all sides: the regulatory part, the fiscal part, the industry part € We must not miss the opportunity because hydrogen goes beyond the mobility that concerns us today, but it goes to all energy, economic and development sectors, “said María Jaén.
Present or future?
Galo Gutiérrez Monzonís, General Director of Industry and Small and Medium Enterprises He took the word to close the event and stressed the need of the industry to meet the challenge of digitalization and sustainability without losing positions. He stressed the need to maintain leadership in the automotive sector and pointed out the government’s commitment both to the development of alternative energy vehicles, and to the corresponding associated infrastructure that makes it a real possibility for the user. “The objective of the European Union and the Government is decarbonization Progressive transport. It is necessary to develop zero-emission vehicles that adapt to the different transport needs – urban, private, commercial, passenger transport, etc. – so that they are technologically and economically viable, “he concluded.
The day has had the sponsorship of Enagás, Hyundai and Redexis, whose top representatives followed the development of the debates and contributed their reflection towards the future. Fernando Bergasa, Executive President of Redexis He stated bluntly that Redexis is going to be an active agent in the rapid development of the hydrogen industry. “Whenever we talk about hydrogen, we talk about a distant or very distant future, we do not believe that this is the case, we believe that the future is already here. We believe that the decisive moment in which companies like ours must become protagonists of this development is now, “he said. For its part, Polo Satrustegui, CEO Hyundai He made it clear that within the brand’s strategy there is a firm commitment to ecomobility. “Only in hydrogen vehicles are we going to invest 6.7 billion by 2030 and an annual production capacity of 500,000 vehicles. Those are our plans for the development of hydrogen, very ambitious plans because we see that it is the vehicle that is really going to replace the combustion we are used to. ” Finally, Marcelino Oreja, CEO of Enagás, shed light on which, as it became clear throughout the morning, is the main obstacle so that we can all soon drive a hydrogen car: the lack of supply stations. “Among other projects to boost green hydrogen, we are betting on the construction of hydrogeneras. The first will be launched in Madrid, and will be underway, hopefully in July and hopefully the first of many. Hydrogen is already the present, it is not the future“.