Hydrogen Is Already Having An Impact On The Automotive Market

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Modifying the way automobiles are powered and used is probably one of the largest change management projects ever undertaken.

Despite commercial deployment being at least two decades away, hydrogen powered vehicles are already having an impact on today's automobile market. This is one of the conclusions of a report published this week by Cambridge, UK based analysts CarbonFree. The report highlights examples of automobile manufacturers and energy companies experimenting with hydrogen powered automobiles to add a shade of green to their existing brands. However, CarbonFree warns it would be difficult for incumbent players to commercialise these next generation vehicles without cannibalising revenue from existing products.

The tipping point for the automobile industry, according to the report, will occur when oil companies attempt to exploit unconventional sources of oil such as shale and tar sands. CarbonFree sees the cost of this process, in financial and environmental terms, forcing the industry to look for alternatives, and the work already carried out on hydrogen and electric vehicles merely serving to open up the market to new entrants.

The report, "Driving In Neutral", suggests that the basic structure of the automobile market will change little over the next 20 years, with biofuels being used to postpone peak oil and to help governments achieve emission reduction targets. However, the report sees the environmental and geopolitical implications of large-scale biofuel production replacing one form of energy insecurity with another.

Today, governments are attempting to limit private motoring at a time when manufacturers are spending billions of dollars promoting automobile ownership. CarbonFree explains that governments are also attempting to address a number of other controversial issues regarding automobile use, such as the growing number of elderly people who are no longer able to drive. Governments will, according to CarbonFree, avoid direct confrontation with the automobile lobby and instead support schemes, such as car clubs, which exploit the success of the social networking aspect of the Internet. However, the report points out that emotions and motoring must somehow be separated, and, until they are, governments face similar challenges to the ones they encountered when dissuading people from smoking.

"Driving In Neutral -- New Automobile Ownership, Fuelling And Use Models" is available from CarbonFree.


About CarbonFree

CarbonFree carries out research and analysis in a wide range of alternative energy related fields and disseminates results in its highly focussed CarbonFree reports.


For further details contact:

Toby Jackson


++44 (0)1223 208926


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