Hydrogen’s role in the decarbonisation of vehicle fleets

Panelists at the Future Mobility Summit 2023 discussed how fleet operators are likely to influence the sustainable transformation of mobility

Fleet mobility as an enabler of innovation and sustainability was the topic of a panel discussion at this year’s Future Mobility Summit hosted by the Tagesspiegel at the Tempodrom in Berlin.

The scale and distribution of fleet vehicles means they are likely to play a key role in driving the sustainable transformation of mobility in Germany. Alongside battery electric vehicles (BEVs), hydrogen-fuelled fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) can make a valuable contribution to the decarbonisation of fleets.

With their long ranges and short refuelling times, FCEVs can be particularly useful for fleet operators whose vehicles travel long distances, or in use cases where vehicle downtime must be minimised.

One example demonstrating the benefits of FCEVs in a fleet context is H2 Moves Berlin. The pilot project of Anglo American, Toyota Germany and the SafeDriver Group-ENNOO is proving the everyday suitability of FCEVs as a solution for passenger vehicle fleets in green cities.

Around 115 Toyota Mirai (fuel consumption according to WLPT: hydrogen combined 0.9-0.8 kg/100 km; electricity consumption combined 0 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined according to WLTP 0 g/km) are already on the roads of Berlin, and the fleet will be expanded to up to 200 vehicles. As of September 2023, the vehicles had covered over 1.8 million kilometres in more than 150,000 trips. The Toyota Mirai can be booked via the Uber app and can be ordered with the option “Comfort Electric – Premium Hydrogen / Electric Vehicles”.

Jan Klawitter, Head of International Policy at Anglo American, advocated the need for technology openness in the panel discussion. He emphasised that it is important not to have binary discussions simply comparing internal combustion vehicles versus BEVs versus FCEVs.

“We need to understand that there are technologies that are particularly well suited for different use cases. This is especially true for different types of vehicle fleets, be it company vehicles but also taxi fleets, for example,” said Klawitter.

Other participants in the panel were Thomas Bareiß, member of parliament and transport policy spokesman for the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, and Sebastian Bock, the Managing Director of independent think tank Transport and Environment Germany.

Photo: Tagesspiegel Future Mobility Summit 2023_26.09.2023 _(c) Lena Ganssmann_Laurin Schmid