The UK 2050 Calculator Web Flash Excel Wiki
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Why does fuel cell technology in motor vehicles use gas

The adoption of fuel cell technology in vehicles in the 2050 Calculator is determined by the user of the Calculator as follows:

  1. The user selects the absolute number of motor vehicles that will be driven up to 2050, using the “domestic transport behaviour” lever;
  1. The user selects the proportion of vehicles they want to be electrified up to 2050, using the “shift to zero emission transport” lever; and
  1. The user selects the technology they want electrified motor vehicles to adopt (hydrogen fuel cells or battery electric) in the “choice of car and van technology” lever.

The 2050 Calculator then “produces” enough hydrogen to provide the hydrogen demanded by hydrogen fuels cell vehicles (specified by the user in steps i to iii). This production requires gas and electricity in proportions that vary over time:

  1. Hydrogen is produced either by “steam methane reforming” (SMR) using gaseous hydrocarbons or “distributed water electrolysis” (DWE) using electricity; and
  1. the Calculator assumes that over time hydrogen will increasingly be produced by DWE, and so produced using electricity rather than gas (it is assumed that by 2050 100% of hydrogen will be produced by DWE).