Full Title: Transitions to Alternative Transportation Technologies–A Focus on Hydrogen
Author(s): National Academy of Sciences
Publisher(s): National Academy of Sciences
Publication Date: 1/2008
Length: 142 pages, PDF
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In response to a congressional request in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, this National Research Council (NRC) study estimated the maximum practicable number of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (HFCVs) that could be deployed in the United States by 2020 and beyond, together with the investments, time, and government actions needed to carry out this transition. The study determined the consequent reductions in U.S. oil consumption and emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2)—the main greenhouse gas linked to global climate change—that could be expected. It then compared those reductions with the potential impact that the use of alternative vehicle technologies and biofuels might have on oil consumption and CO2 emissions.
The NRC’s Committee on Assessment of Resource Needs for Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technologies concluded that the maximum practical number of HFCVs that could be operat- ing in 2020 would be approximately 2 million in a fleet of 280 million light-duty vehicles. The number of HFCVs could grow rapidly thereafter to about 25 million by 2030. Rather than a prediction of the future by the committee, this is a scenario based on the committee’s estimate of the maximum penetration rate, assuming that technical goals are met, that consumers readily accept HFCVs, and that policy instru- ments are in place to drive the introduction of hydrogen fuel and fuel cell vehicles through the market transition period.