Hydrogen is often wrongly labelled as a direct competitor of battery drives, but in most cases it is exactly the opposite - it can perfectly complement and support electromobility. Luboš Hajský writes about the position of hydrogen as a fuel and how our mobile hydrogen generator H2BASE helps battery solutions in the Hospodářské noviny supplement
Passenger and freight transport is undergoing a revolution - after more than a century, fossil fuels are on the way out and automakers are gradually introducing alternative powertrains of all kinds. A number of BEV solutions are celebrating success, led by Tesla's Model 3 and Goda's Enyaq, while electromobility is also starting to make its way into corporate fleets.
Hydrogen as an apparent competitor to batteries.
However, the whole field is facing a number of opponents with more or less compelling arguments. The most important of these is the issue of the capacity of the transmission network - a relatively simple calculation shows that the shift of energy for combustion engines to electricity would not be able to cover the production at the moment and the transmission network would also face such a situation with great difficulty.Hydrogen is therefore offered as a quality alternative - the price per kWh of energy produced in a hydrogen fuel cell is currently around 14 CZK and is expected to fall further. The Czech Republic's hydrogen strategy for 2027, for example, predicts a price of CZK 5.5 per kWh. Compared to the cost of recharging a battery, which is between CZK 7 and CZK 12, hydrogen does not fare badly economically.
The battery is a great medium, but somewhere it hides weak spots
But don't be fooled - there are many situations where a battery solution is preferable. Batteries play into the hands of efficiency and the availability of charging points, even if only low-speed ones. For short-distance passenger transport, hydrogen will have a hard time competing with batteries.
But the situation is different in long-distance transport: for trains, trucks and ships, storing energy in batteries is much more complicated. This is where hydrogen solutions make more sense - because hydrogen can compete with fossil fuels in large-scale applications.
Toyota Mirai? The power of hydrogen lies elsewhere
But hydrogen can also play a role in personal transport: not only as a primary source of energy on board a car, but especially as a fuel for electric vehicle chargers or as a means of boosting the transmission grid. We have had this very idea in mind since the beginning of the development of our H2BASE hydrogen generator: it was designed as a mobile fast charger for electric cars, but also as a replacement for non-environmentally friendly diesel generators.Similarly, H2BASE can be used as a cogeneration unit to boost the transmission grid - the conversion of one kilogram of hydrogen generates approximately 16 kWh of electricity and 16 kWh of heat, which can be used to heat a building.For us, hydrogen is not a competitor to batteries, but rather their ideal colleague.