Mobility Portal, Spain
Date: October 11, 2023
Inés Platini
By Inés Platini

What will the future of sustainable mobility look like according to the industry?

In order to meet the requirements set forth by the European Union to eliminate CO2 emissions, several alternatives are being considered to replace traditional fuels and promote sustainable mobility. What are the alternatives?
EV Power electric-car charging network.
EV Power electric-car charging network.

According to a report published by EVBox, electric mobility is not the only sustainable alternative aimed at replacing diesel and petrol.

On the contrary, both governments and oil and gas companies consider hydrogen or biofuels as “key tools in the battle against climate change.”

However, many activists and industry experts argue that these fuels should be reserved only for planes and ships since they are the most challenging means of electrification.

While other vehicles can confidently rely on electricity, the way in which it is generated must also be sustainable and environmentally friendly.

According to this publication, “more than 40% of car customers are considering purchasing an EV.

Nevertheless, some users are concern that in some parts of Europe, there are more EVs on the roads than there is charging infrastructure available.

Therefore, many oil and gas companies are taking advantage of this situation and starting to reconsider their position and how they can do business in the future.

Many have already begun investing in electric vehicle charging stations.

Shell recharge station.
Shell recharge station.

A success story in this field is Shell, which has already started transforming its stations into electric charging points.

It has more than 300,000 public charging points in Europe and aims to operate 2.5 million points worldwide by 2030.

Meanwhile, TotalEnergies will expand its electric car charging network in Europe to 150,000 charging points by 2025.

Another reason why traditional fuel stations are reinventing themselves is the rising cost of oil, which continues to approach the $100 per barrel mark.

This has led to the adoption of clean energy and electric mobility, which are exceeding expectations.

However, in the industry, other alternatives besides electric mobility are also considered, such as implementing hydrogen fuel.

Currently, many car manufacturers have started developing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs), especially in the Asian market.

A clear example is the Hyundai Nexo. This fuel cell SUV offers a range of 666 kilometers (WLTP) and a refueling time of just 5 minutes.

Some European manufacturers are also trying to incorporate this technology into their vehicles, such as BMW and Volkswagen.

Nevertheless, many hydrogen projects, like VW’s, have been canceled “due to excessive costs in both FCV production and hydrogen creation and transport.”

Thomas Schäfer, CEO of Volkswagen.

Regarding this, the CEO of the company, Thomas Schäfer, stated in an interview with AutoBild that hydrogen has significant disadvantages compared to battery technology.

One sector that is considering hydrogen fuel cells is heavy-duty vehicles.

These represent around a quarter of all transportation emissions.

Nevertheless, many consider hydrogen not to be a sustainable fuel since a significant portion of H2O production currently comes from fossil fuels.

One potential key driver in the energy transition is the green hydrogen, which is produced through the utilization of renewable energy.

The downside is that it is not certain whether there will be enough production to supply the market.

Finally, Francois Parniere, Director of Electric Vehicles at TSG, states: “The future will be a mix of energies for a variety of uses.”

Read more: TOP 5 Europe’s largest EV charging hubs: Where are they located?

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