• Peer-Reviewed
Energy Policy · 2002

A strategy for introducing hydrogen into transportation

Alexander E. Farrell, David W. Keith, and James J. Corbett

Considerable effort is being expended on research and demonstration projects aimed at introducing hydrogen into the transportation sector as a fuel, generally motivated by concerns about carbon dioxide emissions and petroleum imports (or scarcity). In this paper we focus on one aspect of strategy for introducing hydrogen—the choice of transportation mode. Our analysis suggests that cost of introducing hydrogen can be reduced by selecting a mode that uses a small number of relatively large vehicles that are operated by professional crews along a limited number of point-to-point routes or within a small geographic area. In addition, technological innovation in vehicle design will take place most quickly in modes where individual vehicles are produced to order and each receives significant engineering attention (not those manufactured in vast quantities on assembly lines).The immediate environmental benefits of introducing hydrogen fuel will occur in modes that have relatively less stringent pollution regulations applied to them. These insights, suggest that heavy-duty freight modes would be a less costly way to introduce hydrogen as a transportation fuel and a more effective way to advance hydrogen-related technologies so that they could subsequently be used more widely in light-duty vehicles.

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