“You can just switch petrol and diesel cars to hydrogen”

The transition to electric vehicles (EVs) will be a crucial step for the government to reach the UK’s net zero target. The sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be phased out by 2030 and from 2035 all new cars and vans must be zero tailpipe emissions.

While electric vehicle technology, vehicles and infrastructure have developed rapidly in recent years, people still have a lot of questions about this new technology.

The government has released a brochure addressing 19 common misconceptions about electric vehicles and electric vehicle charging infrastructure. You can access the full notice here and here is just one of the topics covered:

Myth: “You could easily change all petrol and diesel cars to burn hydrogen without giving yourself all that trouble”

Reality: The government remains technologically neutral. However, currently, combustion hydrogen in a conventional engine still produces nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and CO2 exhaust emissions. This means that for now it is not zero emissions.

By comparison, the only exhaust emissions from hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are water. As indicated in the government hydrogen strategy, we expect hydrogen to play an important role in decarbonizing transportation. We expect it will likely be used most effectively in heavier transportation applications “that batteries might not reach” like large trucks, shipping, and aviation.

For cars and vans, battery-electric technology is the path chosen by a clear majority of manufacturers and motorists.

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