Image

Transport: Hydrogen still has advantage over batteries

2 May 2024

It’s April 2024 and some of Australia’s fossil fuel majors are still touting hydrogen powered vehicles as a solution for decarbonising transport.In a recent article, the ABC quoted Dr Steven Percy, a senior research fellow at the Victorian Hydrogen Hub, who says green hydrogen has the potential to decarbonise transport.

“It’s particularly promising for road freight, where hydrogen has an advantage over both batteries and fossil fuels.” says the ABC, quoting Dr Percy. The article by ABC journalist Jessica Black was accompanied by social media tiles on Instagram parroting the claim that hydrogen has an advantage over batteries showing a H2 graphic alongside a truck, a van and a passenger car.

“Operating a battery electric truck on a route like that is possible but it’s going to require numerous hours of charging time whereas with hydrogen, you can refuel those vehicles about as quickly as a diesel truck,” says Percy.

Victorian Hydrogen Hub

According to its website, the Victorian Hydrogen Hub is a partnership between CSIRO and Germany’s ARENA2036 factory. “The Victorian Hydrogen Hub (VH2) brings together researchers, industry partners and business to drive the implementation of the hydrogen economy.” states the organisation’s website.

However, scroll further down the page and petrol and diesel distributer Ampol as well as the Australian Gas Infrastructure Group are listed as VHH collaborators. The Driven spoke to the Victorian Hydrogen Hub to seek clarification on the research behind the claims made in the ABC story.

VHH chief scientist Professor Virginia Kilborn confirmed that in addition to funding from the Victorian government’s Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund, VHH also receives funding from its industry partners such as Ampol.

Hydrogen transport claim not supported by VHH research

The Driven asked VHH about the research behind Dr Percy’s claim that hydrogen has an advantage over battery electric transport. Dr Percy was not available for comment, however VHH put The Driven in contact with Associate Professor Hadi Ghaderi, who is also listed on the VHH team, to answer our questions regarding the ABC article.

“There’s no real world Australian field trials and that’s an issue.” sad Professor Ghaderi. “From a modelling perspective, when we look at some of the charging refuelling times there could be some advantage in terms of operationally.”

The Driven asked if the claim was based solely on the metric of charging/fuelling time rather than other factors such as thermodynamic inefficiencies associated with hydrogen, which result in 80% energy losses as well as incredible complexity in hydrogen supply chains compared to electricity.

“To be fair, we need to have both technologies against each other in real world condition and test for this, but both range and charging refuelling time are factors that will influence the comparative advantage of these technologies,” he says.

Battery electric trucks are already beyond real world trials and are in commercial operation. They are also far superior to hydrogen trucks on range and charging time. For example, Tesla’s Semi truck is already operational and has a range of 804 km when fully loaded with 37 tonnes and can charge 70% (562 km) in just 30 mins.

Hydrogen, electric, dual fuel options and results from operational and commercial trials by heavy transport fleets, including log transport operations, is going to be detailed to the wider industry in this regions eagerly awaited Wood Transport & Logistics 2024 event running in Rotorua, New Zealand on 22-23 May 2024. An extensive listing of exhibitors – inside and outside the venue – are also setting up for the event. Further details can be found on the event website.

More >>

Source: The Driven


Read More
Image

Decarbonising transport & logistics

New Zealand environmental specialist, Toitū, recently held a panel to discuss how New Zealand’s transportation and logistics industry, the nation’s second-largest emissions source, can take effective climate action. They shed light on the critical pressures facing supply chains and how to respond ...
Read more
Image

Calling all NZ loader operators – be part of this study

Driven by mechanisation, traditional career pathways in forestry crews are evolving. As part of the Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme, ‘Te Mahi Ngahere i te Ao Hurihuri – Forestry Work in the Modern Age’, the Scion Human Factors research group ...
Read more
Image

Every second counts

During hot and dry periods, there is a serious risk of wildfires. Moreover, a single spark can be enough to start one, in which case every second counts. Having fire extinguishing equipment close at hand can make all the difference ...
Read more
Image

NZ forestry H&S statistics updated – March 2024

Safetree NZ has released their H&S stats dashboard for March 2024. WorkSafe provides statistics on forestry fatalities and workplace incidents. These investigations help inform us of any key issues or trends as they come to light. Overall, there is a downward trend ...
Read more
Image

Electrifying all trucks will cost less

The Clean Freight Coalition recently released a report suggesting a staggering US$1 trillion investment would be required to electrify 100% of the US truck fleet. However, a critical analysis reveals serious flaws in this estimation. Daimler Truck North America, a ...
Read more
Image

The future of forestry in Australia – hear the discussion

While it is a long-running debate, trees are not just part of the forest, but a valuable part of farms. It’s the future of forestry in Australia, according to a recent discussion on the ABC Listen podcast. There are many groups ...
Read more
Image

PF Olsen NZ log market report – April 2024

Market Summary At Wharf Gate (AWG) log prices across New Zealand dropped an average of 17% in April. April AWG log prices are about 15% below the two-year average. CFR prices for A grade logs in China have bottomed in ...
Read more
Image

AI powered fire projection in Tasmania

We reported several months ago the installation of AI powered early warning forest fire detection systems in South Australia by SFM. The system was developed by Pano AI and trained the cameras on millions of landscape images to spot the first ...
Read more
Image

China launches world’s largest electric container ship

State-owned China Ocean Shipping Group (COSCO) has launched the world’s largest electric container ship, which will begin a regular service between Shanghai and Nanjing and save 3,900kg of fuel for every 100 nautical miles sailed. The Greenwater 01 arrived at ...
Read more