March 15, 2007

Hydrogen already having an impact on the automotive market, analyst says

Cambridge, England – Despite commercial deployment being at least two decades away, hydrogen-powered vehicles are already having an impact on today’s automobile market, according to a report published by the UK-based analysts CarbonFree. The report highlights examples of auto manufacturers and energy companies experimenting with hydrogen-powered automobiles, but warns it will be difficult for incumbent players to commercialize these next-generation vehicles without cannibalizing revenue from existing products.

The report says that the tipping point will occur when oil companies attempt to exploit unconventional sources of oil, such as shale and tar sands. CarbonFree says that the cost of the process, both in financial and environmental terms, will force the industry to look for alternatives. The work already carried out on hydrogen and electric vehicles will merely serve to open up the markets to new entrants.

The report, “Driving in Neutral”, suggests that the basic structure of the automobile market will change little over the next twenty years, with biofuels being used to postpone peak oil and help governments achieve emission reduction targets. However, the report says that the environmental and geopolitical implications of large-scale biofuel production may replace one form of energy insecurity with another. The report is available at

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