ASSIGNMENT 1 IBETHE HYDROGEN ECONOMY – CASE STUDY(PGDM)Submission date: 13thDecember ‘20Major car manufacturers like Ford, General Motors, Toyota and Daimler Chryslerare currently embarking on major investments in hydrogen technology and forging alliances in the process with Shell, BP and Exxon. Shell launched a new company in 2003 – Shell hydrogen – with an initial budget of about ;100 million(£65m/$100m). Buses powered by fuel cells are already in service in Chicago,Vancouver and Oslo on an experimental basis.The development has been stimulated by:• tightening in air quality standards and targets to reduce CO2 omissions in thelight of concern over global warming;• increasing security threat over oil reserves and consequent fluctuations in oilprices.The ‘obvious’ impact of the use of hydrogen fuel cells is a cut in gasoline by up to100 percent!Hydrogen is easily made. For example, one large oil refinery, BP’s Grangemouthin Scotland, produces about 150 tonnes of hydrogen a day – enough to fuel 500 000cars. Currently, however, hydrogen is difficult to store and transport. The DaimlerChrysler buses currently being tested are five times more expensive than conventional buses and pricesare unlikely to fall until fuel cells can be mass produced. Purehydrogen is especially difficult to store as it does not liquefy until its temperaturereaches absolute zero and it is highly combustible. Currently, fuel tanks have to bebulky and take up considerable space and allow only small distances betweenrefuelling. If the technology is to be used in cars it may be necessary to store the gasat around 5000 psi (an average car tyre ‘stores’ air at around 30 psi).The technologyto do this is yet to be developed. To build a low carbon economy, governments, investors, business and consumers will need to sustain change. Consumers will needto lobby government (‘green votes’) and engage in ‘green purchasing’.QuestionsWhat are the likely implications of this development for:• car manufacturers;Ans: As far as car manufacturers are concerned using hydrogen fuel cells in cars can be very beneficial. The key benefits can be highlighted as followsBenefitsoLess Greenhouse Gas EmissionsGasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles emit greenhouse gases (GHGs), mostly carbon dioxide (CO2), that contribute to climate change. Fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) powered by pure hydrogen emit no tailpipe GHGs, only heat and water.Producing the hydrogen for FCVs can generate GHGs, depending on the production method. Still, it generates much less GHGs than conventional gasoline and diesel vehicles.
oReduced Oil Dependence FCVs could reduce our dependence on foreign oil since hydrogen can be derived from domestic sources. These sources include natural gas and coal, as well as renewable sources such as water, biogas, and agricultural waste.