Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP; TSX: BLDP) and Deloitte China today announced the release of a joint white paper entitled “Fueling the Future of Mobility: Hydrogen and fuel cell solutions for transportation” at the Consumer Technology Association’s CES 2020 trade show being held in Las Vegas, Nevada. This white paper is the first volume in a series exploring how hydrogen is set to power the future of mobility.
Randy MacEwen, Ballard President and CEO said, “In less than 10 years, it will become cheaper to run a fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) than it is to run a battery electric vehicle (BEV) or an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle for certain commercial applications.”
Although FCEVs are currently more expensive to run per 100 kilometers (km) than BEVs and ICE commercial vehicles, they are set to become much cheaper as manufacturing technology matures, economies of scale improve, hydrogen fuel costs decline and infrastructure develops. Indeed, the white paper conservatively estimates the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for commercial hydrogen vehicles will fall by more than 50% in the next 10 years.
“We are excited to partner with Deloitte on this important initiative,” added Mr. MacEwen. “We believe this white paper provides answers to the most pertinent questions from industry executives and laypeople alike, specifically regarding the economic viability of FCEVs and their environmental sustainability.”
Adrian Xu, Deloitte China Financial Advisory Director said, “To many commercial operators, hydrogen seems to be a complex and expensive technology for the future. However, we have proven through our deep research and proprietary model that FCEVs will become cheaper to run than traditional ICE vehicles or BEVs very soon. Sophisticated commercial operators around the world are already investing in this technology to stay one step ahead of the competition.”
Alan MacCharles, Deloitte China Financial Advisory Partner noted, “In China, where the TCO of BEVs is already close to that of ICE commercial vehicles, the total cost of owning an FCEV is expected to be lower than that for ICE commercial vehicles by 2027, and we estimate that the TCO of FCEVs will fall below that of BEVs a year later. The cost of running commercial FCEVs will decline as fuel cell system and hydrogen costs decrease by about 70 percent and 63 percent, respectively.”
The white paper undertakes a comprehensive TCO analysis, applying a detailed and objective model to various heavy-duty motive transportation scenarios across different geographic settings: logistics trucks in Shanghai; drayage trucks in California; and transit buses in London. The white paper projects that FCEVs will be less expensive than BEVs and ICE vehicles in all these scenarios by 2027, without subsidies.
In addition to looking at the commercial viability of FCEVs, the white paper also reviews the progress and support from governments around the globe, such as China, the U.S., Japan, and EU. For example, in China during the 2019 Two Sessions – an annual gathering of the nation’s political elites – hydrogen was mentioned in the government’s work report for the first time, showing the country’s commitment to developing the FCEV ecosystem.
China already leads the world in the application of some types of FCEVs, with the highest level of application of fuel cell light- and medium-duty trucks, and application of fuel cell buses exceeding that of the U.S. and equal to that of Europe, the report shows.
Chris Lin, Deloitte China Financial Advisory Director stated, “Through a focused dedication to renewable energy, China has become one of the world’s largest hydrogen markets. China is now the largest producer of hydrogen as well as a world leader in the commercial development of FCEVs. In the past few years, China has devoted significant efforts to the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle industry, driving technology maturation and decreased hydrogen cost while also activating the application of hydrogen in various areas.”
The white paper also provides a review of energy efficiency, hydrogen production, green gas and other environmental impacts related to fuel cell technology today and going forward, concluding that FCEVs are more attractive environmentally than BEVs and ICE vehicles from a number of perspectives, including production, operation and end-of-life. The white paper states: “From a lifetime emissions and environmental impact perspective, FCEVs are also cleaner than BEVs and ICE vehicles, with even more room for improvement as hydrogen production and delivery matures.”
Mr. MacEwen further commented, “At Ballard, our growth strategy is premised on the transition of mobility from diesel and other ICE-based powertrains to zero-emission fuel cell electrification. We believe FCEVs will be the best solution – based on TCO economics, vehicle performance and environmental sustainability – for certain heavy- and medium-duty vehicle use cases. We are focused on bus, commercial truck, rail and marine. Here, we see market segments where vehicle duty cycles require long range, rapid refueling, heavy payload and route flexibility. Many of these use cases already use a ‘return-to-base’ refueling model, which lowers the barriers to the introduction of depot hydrogen refueling. These use cases also have disproportionately high emissions and have been considered as ‘hard-to-abate’ emission applications. We are excited about tackling a big problem with our world-leading and highly disruptive fuel cell technology.”
Mr. MacEwen concluded, “Over the longer term we are also confident that the fuel cell value proposition will continue to strengthen for passenger cars. We believe the trends of decarbonization, connectivity, autonomy and shared mobility in urban environments will lead to demand for zero-emission passenger vehicles having high utilization rates. We expect these passenger cars, including urban shared mobility fleets, to favor zero-emission powertrain technologies that deliver long range and fast refueling.”
SOURCE Ballard Power Systems Inc.