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Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Hydrogen-fuelled Passenger Cars


In order to achieve gradual but timely decarbonisation of the transport sector, it is essential to evaluate which types of vehicles provide a suitable environmental performance while allowing the use of hydrogen as a fuel. This work compares the environmental life-cycle performance of three different passenger cars fuelled by hydrogen: a fuel cell electric vehicle, an internal combustion engine car, and a hybrid electric vehicle. Besides, two vehicles that use hydrogen in a mixture with natural gas or gasoline were considered. In all cases, hydrogen produced by wind power electrolysis was assumed. The resultant life-cycle profiles were benchmarked against those of a compressed natural gas car and a hybrid electric vehicle fed with natural gas. Vehicle infrastructure was identified as the main source of environmental burdens. Nevertheless, the three pure hydrogen vehicles were all found to be excellent decarbonisation solutions, whereas vehicles that use hydrogen mixed with natural gas or gasoline represent good opportunities to encourage the use of hydrogen in the short term while reducing emissions compared to ordinary vehicles.

Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Italy ; Spain ; Switzerland

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