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ICCT's Hydrogen Trucking Scenario Faces Criticism for Unrealistic Assumptions

28 Nov 2023

The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) has come under scrutiny for its recent total cost of ownership report, particularly its hydrogen trucking scenario. Critics argue that the assumptions made in the scenario are unrealistic and present an improbable scenario where hydrogen trucks would be more competitive than electric trucks.

Hydrogen vs. Electric Trucking: Examining ICCT's Scenario

The ICCT's report delves into the comparison between hydrogen and battery electric truck scenarios in Europe. The controversial aspect arises from the assumption that hydrogen trucking could be a viable and cost-competitive option, with the energy costs per kilometer being projected as only 50% higher in 2030 and 10% higher in 2050 compared to battery electric trucks.

Questionable Assumptions: Energy Costs and Hydrogen Manufacturing

One of the main criticisms centers around the energy costs involved. The report suggests that truck stops with hydrogen scenarios would produce green hydrogen on-site using electricity delivered through local utility wires. Critics argue that the energy costs for hydrogen production should be three times higher, considering the energy-intensive nature of hydrogen manufacturing.

Unrealistic Scenarios: Exclusive Hydrogen Truck Stops

The report envisions scenarios where hydrogen truck stops have local wind and solar farms, allowing them to enter into power purchase agreements for cheaper electricity rates. Critics find this assumption overly optimistic and argue that it is unlikely to be applicable to all truck stops.

Neglecting Battery Electric Vehicles: A Flawed Comparison

One of the most significant criticisms revolves around the exclusion of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) from benefiting from the assumed lower electricity rates at truck stops. Critics argue that in a realistic scenario, BEVs, including electric trucks, would also recharge at these truck stops and enjoy the same cost benefits.

Call for Retraction: ICCT Urged to Correct Flawed Reports

Critics contend that the ICCT's biased approach in favor of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles has led to flawed conclusions. They call for the retraction of both the recent report and an earlier report that suggested hydrogen at trucking stations would be priced under €6 per kilogram. The ICCT is urged to address organizational biases around hydrogen and ensure a more balanced and realistic assessment of transportation policy discussions.

The controversy surrounding ICCT's hydrogen trucking scenario highlights the importance of unbiased and realistic assumptions in shaping future transportation policies.

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