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Hydrogen car wins it from electric car
Transportation Transportation Hydrogen

Hydrogen Graphic

In the case of transport based on hydrogen, the costs for the infrastructure will in time be lower than those for electric cars. The German research center Jülich achieves this remarkable result with 20 million vehicles powered by hydrogen or electricity.
Investment nessecarry for Hydrogen infrastructure
Infrastructure necessary for Hydrogen 

The outcome seems contradictory to everyone's first line of thought. To charge electric cars, there already exists a wonderful electrical infrastructure, while the infrastructure for hydrogen still has to be built largely. This makes the investment costs for hydrogen initially higher than for electricity.
In the end, the hydrogen will nevertheless win the costs of the infrastructure. If there are 20 million vehicles, then the costs of the electrical infrastructure are 51 billion euros and those for hydrogen 40 billion euros.
The Julich research center comes with these numbers on the hydrogen and electric car based on model calculations that are tailored to the existing German infrastructure and sources of sustainable energy.

Fill up faster

The fact that this hydrogen infrastructure ultimately costs less, has to do with its effective use. Once the hydrogen infrastructure is there, it can be used much better because the filling times are much shorter than when charging the batteries. In order to be able to serve all those 20 million cars, less infrastructure is needed than with the electric variant. And if the electrical infrastructure is to be able to supply sufficient power for 20 million cars, then that also requires substantial investments there.
Investments for Hydrogen infrastructure Investments for the Hydrogen and electric car.

The researchers emphasize that the costs for the infrastructure must not be exaggerated either: in Germany, in order to produce all the renewable energy required in 2030, an investment of 375 billion euros is required, plus some 34 billion euros for adjustments to the electricity grid.

Both 4.5 cents per km

The electric car is more efficient than the hydrogen car (read 'Electric car better for CO2 reduction than hydrogen car'). Conversion from electricity to hydrogen and back to electricity is accompanied by considerable losses (the efficiency of that chain is around 45%).
On the other hand, the hydrogen is mainly produced when there is a surplus of cheap electricity (hydrogen is relatively easy to store) and there are lower costs for the infrastructure. The result of this is that the kilometer price of both types of drive is about the same and comes to about 4.5 cents per km.

Hybrid combination

The researchers see a hybrid system as the optimal combination. Passenger cars then run on electricity, the heavier transport, including shipping, is done with hydrogen. For both electricity and hydrogen, the infrastructure will also know many other users, including the industry and to provide for possible electricity shortages.