Hydrogen for Heavy Vehicles
A Week ago, Scania in Sweden were generous enough to give my partners #NilssonEnergy and I a day of their time, to talk about Heavy Vehicle transport and their plans. While their investment into Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) is perhaps better known, I was interested to also understand their hydrogen plans. It becomes quite clear that with the vast distances and broad routes travelled in Australia, BEV can not meet all the needs of the Heavy Vehicle industry both in distance and infrastructure; BEV will play its part, but hydrogen is needed too (whether it be Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) or hydrogen combustion engines.
What was motivating to me, was to see first-hand the level of energy and motivation the team at Scania have, to push the boundaries and bring BOTH battery and hydrogen solutions to the transport sector in the not-too-distant future (a similar discussion with another OEM last week showed a consistent path). While the pathway for Australia has its own set of challenges in local regulation, I think it would be fair say that many OEMs across the world (and in Australia) are working hard to bring hydrogen to the Heavy Vehicle sector.
So where to, from here? A change in regulations to make it more interesting for OEMs to bring zero emission vehicles to Australia; scale and support (private and public) to make the transition; partnerships between ALL the stakeholders. There are numerous plans for hydrogen use in Australia, but without this important groundwork and approach it will continue to be just that.