What's driving France to push hard for hydrogen vehicles?
Not long ago, the debate in the automotive world was about choosing zero-emission mobility over internal combustion engine-powered mobility. Now, with zero-emission vehicles gaining popularity among the customers the debate has shifted dimensions. Now, it is about the form of zero-emission mobility - battery electric vehicles or any other form of green mobility.
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While there are debates about the source of electricity not being carbon neutral and therefore the lithium-ion based battery electric vehicles are not at all completely zero-emission, hydrogen is considered as one of the great alternatives. Hydrogen is stored in a fuel tank in gaseous form and it goes through a process to separate electrons and ions to generate energy. The only byproduct from the hydrogen power plant is water, making it a truly clean mobility solution.
This is why several countries around the world are pushing hard for hydrogen-powered vehicles. European Union has been pushing hard for hydrogen adoption for green mobility solutions. Despite the battery-electric bikes and scooters taking off across Europe as emission regulations are tightening, the EU countries are focusing on hydrogen adoption. France is one country that is keen on hydrogen mobility.
In 2020, as part of the French government's post-pandemic recovery strategy, it announced plans to invest two billion euros into hydrogen sector development over the next two years and a total of seven billion euro by 2030. Not only the scooters of motorbikes, but France is also aiming for hydrogen energy penetration in other segments of the automobile industry as well.
Interestingly, India too is mulling the implementation of hydrogen mobility on large scale. The union minister of road transport and highways, Nitin Gadkari has been advocating for greener mobility solutions including lithium-ion battery-powered vehicles and other alternative fuel solutions as well. Hydrogen one of the key green fuel solutions he has been advocating for.