Beijing have announced that in only four years it will have 10,000 hydrogen fuel cell cars and trucks on its roads. The vehicles will be supplied their clean fuel by 74 new hydrogen filling stations in the Chinese capital, also ready for 2025.
In a highly hydrogen-focused green energy plan, this initiative forms part of China’s ambitious decarbonisation strategy.
For the country that is the largest greenhouse gas producer on earth, China’s environmental goals certainly should be ambitious, and their announcement that the whole country will be carbon neutral by 2060 is just that. Although with a population of considerably more than a billion people, and a gas guzzling economy built around manufacturing, industry and construction, it’s hard to imagine exactly how they will achieve their goal.
China’s hydrogen strategy is certainly a step in the right direction.
Alongside hydrogen fuel, China is forging ahead with both solar and wind power, two other renewables that have been in play a lot longer than the swiftly emerging hydrogen economy. No strangers to rapid expansion China can now list the growth of their renewable energy sector as the largest and fastest on the planet.
As Beijing heads full throttle for cleaner transportation, other Chinese cities and provinces are now following suit, as they turn their attention to hydrogen fuel cell cars, whilst pushing for state subsidies to enable their ambitions.
Beijing predicts that by 2023 the use of renewable hydrogen fuel for transport and power generation will hit 50 metric tons per day. In a somewhat breathtaking indication of the projected demand spike, that figure will skyrocket to 135 tonnes per day by 2025.
The 2022 Winter Olympics Games will be hosted in and around the capital city, and some of the hydrogen vehicles going into service on Beijing’s roads will include trucks planned for the event’s transportation. In the short term the vehicles will only go into action in Beijing itself. The broader plan is is to extend their use out to the highways, for journeys all over the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, whilst replacing heavy-duty diesel fuel-powered trucks.
Beijing’s hydrogen plans aim to prevent an annual 145,000 metric tons of diesel consumption.