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Mid-project data from Oak Ridge study suggests hydrogen vehicles could have up to 70% market share by 2050

16 May 2012

Greene1
Hydrogen vehicle market penetration under different scenarios. Source: Dr. David Greene. Click to enlarge.

Hydrogen vehicles (H2V, including H2 ICE, fuel cell and fuel cell plug-in hybrid vehicles) could achieve a market share ranging from 30% to 70% in 2050, according to preliminary results from a study by Dr. David Greene and colleagues at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) presented at the DOE 2012 Hydrogen and Fuel Cells and Vehicle Technologies Programs Annual Merit Review meetings in Washington this week.

The wide swing depends on achieving further technical success with the development of hydrogen vehicle technology resulting in lower costs, Greene said. H2V technology success—which includes a sharp reduction in the fuel cell cost/kW and on-board storage, as well as a public hydrogen infrastructure—results in the H2V market share of around 70%, compared to around 30% with current baseline technology scenarios.

(A scenario with no technology progress and no infrastructure results in essentially zero market share.)

The study project—which is 50% complete—is using ORNL’s Market Acceptance of Advanced Automotive Technologies (MA3T) discrete choice model, with the baseline calibrated to the US Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) 2011 reference case. The model estimates sales of 40 vehicle technologies, including conventional and hybrid ICE, plug-in hybrids, natural gas vehicles, battery-electric vehicles, and a range of hydrogen vehicles. It analyzes 1,458 consumer segments, including region, area, driver, early adopter, at home and at work charging.

So far, the team has analyzed technology status, energy markets and policies as factors likely to influence the competitiveness of hydrogen vehicles. Study of a fourth critical factor, consumer preference, is to come.

Some key parameters used in the model are:

  • Fuel cell technology baseline of $60/kW FC system, $10/kWh storage; Fuel cell+ (fuel cell success) of $25/kW, on-board storage $5/kWh by 2050.

  • Plug-in vehicle baseline of $450/kWh through 2050; Bat+ of $150/kWh by 2050, Bat20yr+ = Bat+ achieved 20 years earlier.

Among the other initial findings of the study are:

  • Low-cost batteries (Bat+) help all vehicles: H2Vs and PEVs as well as BEVs. The light duty vehicle market is big enough for both fuel cell and battery technologies to succeed.

  • The key factor in H2V success is fuel cell technology. Battery success expands the market for both H2 and ICE plug-in hybrids.

  • Given technological success, hydrogen vehicles appear to be competitive under a range of hydrogen prices. (In the excerpt from the study presented at the Review, Dr. Greene noted H2 prices ranging from $2.0/gallon of gasoline equivalent to $4.0; in a separate study presented at the Merit Review, Dr. Brian Bush of NREL computed a long-term (out to 2050) levelized delivered cost of hydrogen of $6/kg.)

  • H2V market success will vary with the price of oil, but technology advances are more important.

  • Success for both battery and fuel cell vehicles reduces light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas emissions by 55% in 2050 compared to 2010 before considering low-carbon biofuels and grid de-carbonization.

  • The subsidies required for hydrogen (fuel+infrastructure) are estimated to be about $30 billion, depending on technology status.

Greene2
Initial projection of purchase probability. Source: Dr. David Greene. Click to enlarge.

The next step for Green and his colleagues is to test sensitivity to consumers’ preferences, complete the experimental design and analyze the results. An initial projection by the MA3T model for 2050, assuming successful development and cost reduction in cell fuel and battery technologies suggests that the fuel cell plug-in hybrid vehicle would have the highest probability of purchase.

The much lower battery cost implicit in that scenario would potentially lower fuel costs, Greene suggested, and save time by reducing trips to the hydrogen fuel station.

Resources

  • AN023: Sensitivity Analysis of H2-Vehicles Market Prospects, Costs and Benefits (Dr. David Greene, DOE 2012 Merit Review). The presentations will be posted in several weeks on www.hydrogen.energy.gov.

May 16, 2012 in Forecasts, Fuel Cells, Hydrogen, Infrastructure | Permalink | Comments (32) | TrackBack (0)

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ROFL And if I could sell unicorn farts at $1.00/gallon then I'd bet on unicorn farts owning 70% of the market by 2050.

What a waste of digital trees to print this on.

The study finds that the subsidies required for hydrogen (fuel+infrastructure) are estimated to be about $30 billion, depending on technology status. It tells us there is no agreement on how a hydrogen refueling infrastructure should be, if not has been, developed. However, it suggests we need $30 billion.
Hydrogen may be extracted from natural gas by steam reforming or from water by electrolysis. Fundamental laws of physics expose the weakness of a hydrogen economy. Energy cannot be created, it can only be converted from one state to another, and some energy is always lost during the conversion. Hydrogen is an artificial energy carrier, and can never compete with its own energy source, either natural gas or electricity, in a sustainable future. Why spend $30 billion on a unknown status and known facts.

Um DUH... all its saying is given what we have now fuel cell cars/trucks are going to gain 30% market share... and we already knew that. Given even modest new tech we can fairly much count on it will be bigger... again DUH. That is why all that car and truck companies are working on fuel cell tech or keeping tabs on it.

"all its saying is given what we have now fuel cell cars/trucks are going to gain 30% market share"

That is a very big assumption on your part and not at all obvious. NG is more likely to take that 30% market share...just more practical and easier to implement than trying to build the infrastructure for H2 and then steam reforming the NG into H2.

ng isnt all that much better co2 wise then gasoline so as the co2 regs tighten ng cars will also go away.

Whoever decided to spend taxpayer money projecting 40 years ahead should be fired. Projecting even five years ahead is dubious.

What DaveD said.  It's far simpler AND likely more efficient to make engines that run on NG than to build a whole new technology and associated infrastructure for H2, then reform NG at a net loss in energy to make H2.

Batteries are the wild card.  If we get anything like the SiO-coated Si SWNT for Li-ion batteries, the charging rate of 20C eliminates the advantage of liquid and gaseous fuels.

ng isnt all that much better co2 wise then gasoline so as the co2 regs tighten ng cars will also go away.

That's false. A CNG vehicle held title of "the greenest car in the U.S." for 8 years and only lost the title to an EV.

http://green.autoblog.com/2012/02/07/mitsubishi-i-steals-aceees-greenest-car-of-the-year-title-fro/

The catch here is you have to have a dedicated NG car. That way you can use NG's 130 octane rating in a high compression engine for the best effect. Do that and you can over come NG's lower energy content. Using NG in a bi-fuel engine, one that is also burning gasoline, means you lose the advantage of higher compression and are still hit by NG lower energy content.

The Hydrogen economy would only make economic sense if H2 is produced from renewable energy.

With the earth getting noticeably warmer every year, with economic destruction of climate change and rising sea level, the time will come when enough people will realize that something must be done about the escalating CO2 level in the atmosphere.

The switch to all renewable energy will happen, and sooner than most of us realize, because renewable energy is getting cheaper and cheaper real fast, because sun light and wind are free. There will be a need to store excess renewable energy in the springs and falls to be used in the winters. That'll be when H2 economy will come in handy. High-voltage power lines will transmitt excess electricity from renewable energy from one region to another,to be stored locally by means of H2 made from electrolysis of water.

With increasing unemployment world-wide due to computerization and job outsourcing, many governments world-wide will connect the dots between cheap renewable energy, climate change, and job creation and start deployment of renewable energy collectors and H2 and BEV infrastructures. Fossil-fuels will be gradually phased out, just like we are consuming less and less tobacco these days, by gradually increasing taxes on fossil fuels.

When one considers all the above, then the prediction of H2-Vehicles taking 30-70% market share by 2050 is very reasonable. The rest of non-H2-vehicles will likely be BEV's. CNG vehicles will only be a transitional step, and will be phased out, due to climate change. The younger generations are increasingly aware of the harm of rising CO2 level, learning from schools and the mass media. When they will be mature enough to be in charge, we will see the Green Economy happening fast. Teach the Children well! The older generations can't be expected to learn much.

We can hope.
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.
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OTOH I had the same ideas 30 years ago.

by 2050, H2 will still be made from reforming methane.. and in the process emitting just as much CO2.

If you are going to have a compressed gas powered vehicle then just use methane directly, or what is more likely is synthetic liquid fuel made from methane.. either fossil or renewable methane. With high capacity batteries, quick charging and roadbed wireless power transmission there is just no need for hydrogen.

Can a jet run efficiently on methanol?

We expect many technological advances that will make hydrogen or batteries competitive.

On the other hand, technological advances in atmospheric carbon sequestration are not so hard to imagine either.
If atmospheric carbon sequestration can be made cheap enough, it may well be that we keep on running and flying on natural gas or liquid fuels for centuries, while keeping CO2 down. (at some point - maybe even before 2050 - these fuels may be synthetically made from captured CO2 and renewable H2)

This may even be a very green option, as it not only lowers our net CO2 emission, but gives us the industrial capacity to set the atmospheric CO2 at 'any desired level'.

"Plug-in vehicle baseline of $450/kWh through 2050"

Any shred of credibility was lost after this.

@Herm and Alain,
Why continue to use fossil fuels when renewable-energy H2 will become cost-competitive? You see, fossil fuels prices will go up due to escalating demands, while solar and wind energy will become cheaper and cheaper, the same way your flat-panel TV's have come down in price ten folds in about a decade. Eventually, the two will intersect, and renewable-energy H2 will beat fossil fuels in prices.

The USA is outlawing new coal-fire power plants by requiring new power plants to emit at or below 1000 lbs of CO2 per MWh. The CHinese are doing similar measures to curb coal consumption while installing solar and wind collectors at rapid pace. When NG will be used for power generation instead of coal in the both the US and China and Japan and elsewhere in the world the next few decades, what will happen to the price of NG?

Don't under-estimate the power of global warming to phase out the use of low-cost CO2-emitting power generation. CO2 sequestration will be significantly more expensive and will not be cost-competitive with renewable energy electricity and H2 in the future!

What seems to have been forgotten is the lower 'well'-to-wheel efficiency of H2 vehicles. Electrolysis, compression, storage, in all these steps energy is lost.

Producing 1 kg of high pressure hydrogen costs around 60 kWh with today's technology. The Honda Clarity travels 120 km per kg, so well-to-wheel that works out to 2 km per kWh. That is less than half of what a battery electric vehicle can drive on 1 kWh.

This will make an H2 vehicle more than twice as expensive to operate, because the whole H2 infrastructure and storing and transporting the stuff is more expensive than electric vehicle recharging infrastructure. The grid is already in place.

The authors seem to have focused solely on vehicle price and forgotten about operational costs.

Other developments in the battery electric vehicle space have been conveniently left out too.

First of all there is wireless charging, which will take car ownership to new levels of convenience that people will not likely give up. Switching to an H2 car will force them back into 20th century habits, meaning they will have to regularly stop at these antiquated petrol stations where you attach a hose to your vehicle to transfer some substance into it.

And then there is V2G, which will lower operational costs even further because as an owner you can earn some money back.

The $150/kWh battery cost is foreseen by the authors for 2050 or perhaps 2030. What if it is 2015? According to the reports, there is overcapacity brewing. By 2015 there will be a vast oversupply, pushing prices far below the current levels of $375 per kWh. Remember how PV has been dismissed by its critics for years as 'too expensive'. Look at the sharp declines in price over the past 3 years. There is no fundamental reason why this cannot happen for batteries too.

I'm afraid the battery electric vehicle has a head start that the hydrogen car will likely never be able to catch up.

The only use for hydrogen that makes economic sense imo is the seasonal storage of solar energy.

there is wireless charging, which will take car ownership to new levels of convenience that people will not likely give up. Switching to an H2 car will force them back into 20th century habits, meaning they will have to regularly stop at these antiquated petrol stations where you attach a hose to your vehicle to transfer some substance into it.
This is a key insight.  Even wired charging, if it's available at every parking place, is more convenient than central fueling.
The only use for hydrogen that makes economic sense imo is the seasonal storage of solar energy.
Even there it's going to have competition from electro-biological production of methane, 4- and 5-carbon alcohols, and other stuff we just haven't done yet.  A tank full of methane gas stores nearly 3x the energy of hydrogen at the same pressure, and alcohols are room-temperature limits with a host of uses as both energy supplies and raw materials.  Hydrogen isn't in the running.

Excuse me, room-temperature liquids.

Both wireless (fixed or on-the-move) charging and wired very quick charging will become common place by the end of the current decade.

The above coupled with much higher energy density and lower cost batteries will make electrified vehicles progressively more attractive than ICE types. Sometime between 2020 and 2030, the majority will choose EVs and ICE equipped vehicles will be restricted to aircraft, ships, locomotives, heavy machinery and heavy trucks.

What percentage of EVs will be equipped with on-board FC and/or ICE battery charger is an interesting question. My guess is that both will eventually have to go, with a few exceptions stated above.

I believe DARPA-E should sponsor a standard wireless power format for cars, light and heavy duty trucks. A standard frequency and a standard communications (for billing) protocol.

ROFL

@ Roger Pham | May 16, 2012 at 07:44 PM

"Teach the Children well!"

What you really mean is Brain wash the children well!

The old generation has a mind of its own which is good.


@Mannstein,
"Brain wash?" No, this is not the word to use when it comes to teaching the truth. Some people have different beliefs about global warming, but scientifically, global warming is a fact, and so is the escalation in CO2 level.

@Anne,
BEV is more efficient than FCV when BEV is charged directly from renewable electricity. However, whenever renewable electricity is NOT available, H2 has to be used for power generation. In that case, FCV at 60% efficiency tank to wheel, will be more efficient than BEV that is charged from H2 combustion at the power plant.
In the cold winters, FCV that uses free waste heat from the stack will go farther per kWh of stored energy than BEV's that must convert some of that stored energy for cabin heating. Plus, cold weather decreases battery capacity.
Averaging out all these factors, BEV's and FCV's are comparable in efficiency. We now have technology that can electrolyze water and compress the H2 all in one step at nearly 80% efficiency, without any mechanical compressor.

Wireless charging of a BEV is very convenient, but how about the extra cost and reduced efficiency of this convenience? I would rather reach out for the plug to save on the cost and efficiency loss of wireless charging.

Rapid charging of BEV's will put a severe disturbance on the grid, which is already stressed out as it is, and won't take much for transformers to blow. The grid thus must be highly upgraded and re-enforced, at significant cost no less than installing H2 local pipelines from the storage depot to the end users and H2 fill-up infrastructure.

No matter how affordable batteries will get, H2 will still hold an advantage of rapid fill up within minutes.

Roger

We now have technology that can electrolyze water and compress the H2 all in one step at nearly 80% efficiency, without any mechanical compressor.

I stand by my numbers. 60 kWh per kg of H2, 120 km per kg of H2. The math is simple. Can you point me to something better? Of source, it is conceivable and expected that the H2 chain will become more efficient. The worrying aspect is that the authors are completely silent about that.

You forget that only solar energy suffers seasonal difference. Wait, wind does too, but it is the other way around: winter is windier than summer. The amount of seasonal shifting of solar energy will be a minor percentage of the total consumption and is therefore not a large factor in the overall efficiency of the BEV.

Rapid charging of BEV's will put a severe disturbance on the grid, which is already stressed out as it is, and won't take much for transformers to blow.¨

Sorry, but this is nothing but cheap FUD, which should be beneath you. Rollout of EV's will be gradual, giving energy companies time to adapt. Just as they did when people started buying washing machines, televisions, tumble driers, electric kettles, air conditioners, micro wave ovens. It is weird that no one argued against all these conveniences because they would cause the grid to collapse. These kind of 'concerns' are only reserved for EV's.

No matter how affordable batteries will get, H2 will still hold an advantage of rapid fill up within minutes.

Wrong. The Toshiba SCiB battery can fast charge in less than 10 minutes. Technology for even faster charge exists. And you overrate the importance of superfast charging because you're stuck in ICE thinking: drive until the warning light comes on and then find a petrol station to fill up. EV's will be not be use that way and most people will need fast charging only a few times per year when they take a long road trip. You don't make 800 km trips on a daily basis.

Anne, you're right regarding the infrequent need for BEV to fast charge. BEV's are most likely slow-charged every day for most drivers, such that the very few BEV's that will need rapid charging at any given moment will be tolerable by the grid. I was still stuck in ICE thinking! That's why these discussions are important to put things in proper perspective.

It seems that wind is the strongest in the springs and falls, weaker in winters and summer. Winter energy consumption is so high in higher latitudes that wind alone is not sufficient, and solar is practically non-existent. Stored energy will be necessary.

Interestingly, it seems that the European countries with the highest level of unemployment, especially youth unemployment at 50%, are the sunny Mediterranean countries. If wealthier Northern European countries would invest in solar energy collectors placed in Mediterranean countries and in HVCD lines to transmit the energy to the north, the economic crises of Greek, Spain, Italy, and Portugal would be much alleviated. Solar energy projects in Germany are not doing too well due to the insufficient amount of sunlight. Excess summer, spring and fall solar electricity can be stored locally as H2 in Northern Europe for winter use. Southern Europe will need less H2 storage, and BEV's will be more preferable in Southern Europe, while H2-V will be more preferable in colder parts of Northern Europe with larger amount of H2 storage.

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