Essex is fast becoming the hub of innovation in the automotive industry for HFCT.
Essex has always been an exciting place to live and work and Axiom has spent many years supplying the traditional automotive industry. It is fascinating to be a part of some of the significant changes that are now developing as we move to a carbon zero economy and aim to hit the governments targets for the automotive industry.
Have you heard of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology (HFCT)?
Back in January 2020 the Hydrogen Council said the 2020’s will be the decade of hydrogen and to be honest I haven’t seen much evidence of that as of yet, but there is new hydrogen fuel cell facility opening in Essex, and this has rejuvenated my interest.
Do you know what Hydrogen Cell Technology is?
This is going to be in simple terms as I am not a scientist, but this is fascinating stuff and Essex is going to be one of the places in the UK leading the automotive industry.
Hydrogen is a clean source of fuel and can be used to heat our homes, power our transportation and industry. Hydrogen is everywhere, it is abundant in water, oil, natural gas and all living things. The problem is that it rarely appears as a gas on its own, it is combined with other elements and needs to be extracted. Once Hydrogen is in its molecular form, the energy in the molecule can be released when oxygen is added, and the fuel cell is the catalyst for this.
Fuel Cells work like batteries, but they don’t run down or need recharging and they keep working as long as they are being supplied with fuel. If you are really interested, here is a link that will give you a more detailed explanation. https://www.energy.gov/eere/fuelcells/fuel-cell-basics
The UK currently has only 14 fuelling stations and we have one right here in Rainham Essex. If you have a look the hydrogen isn’t sold by the gallon or litre, its measured by the kilowatt-hours (kW) Here is a simple you tube video which demonstrates how to fuel your hydrogen vehicle. https://youtu.be/Ntuyd8qgsWs The price of hydrogen is £10-15 per kilogram but this is forecast to drop as the investments in this energy source improves.
The great news is BMW are expected to release their first vehicle by the end of 2022, they are currently being weather tested in Sweden.
The big bonus I see with hydrogen over electric, is the short fuelling stops, the electric vehicles still take between 20-60 minutes at a motorway service station, which means journeys must be planned around fuel stops. Once we have hydrogen stops available across the UK, this is a quicker and more efficient system.
And this isn’t the first investment here in Essex, we already have another major new HGV brand on our doorstep and there is clearly more to come.
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