ECN publication
THRIVE: Study on roll-out of Fuel Cell electric Vehicles and Hydrogen Refuelling Infrastructure for the Netherlands
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Hydrogen and Clean Fossil Fuels 17-3-2011
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-E--11-005 ECN publication
Number of pages: Full text:
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This report describes the result of a study on the rollout of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) and a corresponding hydrogen refuelling infrastructure in the Netherlands. The study has focused on the rollout in the period following the large-scale demonstration phase, when the new cars become commercially available and show up in car dealers’ showrooms. A model has been developed that simulates deployment of FCEVs and refuelling infrastructure in spatial and temporal domains. In this model rollout results from consumers buying cars. The number of consumers that buy an FCEV depends on conditions that affect the attractiveness of this option for consumers. These conditions are determined by settings representing investment behaviour and strategies of car industry and fuel suppliers. Furthermore the number of consumers buying an FCEV is a function of the willingness of consumers to adapt their current refuelling behaviour to local availability of hydrogen, and the expectations of consumers regarding the overall utility of the new cars. On the whole, rollout simulations suggest that by 2050 up to 35-40% of all cars in the Netherlands could be hydrogen-powered FCEVs under the condition that technical performance of FCEVs proves to be comparable to conventional cars and sufficient incentives are introduced. Cost analysis and greenhouse gas emission analysis of rollout scenarios have been carried out for a hydrogen delivery pathway based on central production of hydrogen and transport of liquid hydrogen to refuelling stations. This study concludes that hydrogen is affordable, viable and offers good prospects for large emission reductions in road transport. The costs involved are significant, but not insurmountable. This is illustrated by the finding that the cost gaps that need to be bridged during rollout can be covered with a levy of about € 80 per car sold on average, or about 0.5 €ct/litre of fuel for a period of about 25-30 years. The cumulative cost gap is of the order of 1 to 2 billion euro and needs to be bridged in a period of about 3 decades. This amount can decrease by up to 50%, if consumers are willing to pay € 500 more for an FCEV compared to the reference car.

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