Where does Hydrogen Fit?
Diesel has many good points which is why its use is so common, but also some uncomfortable problems in terms of air-quality and CO2 emissions. With an increasing focus on climate change and decarbonisation of transport, people, companies, and countries increasingly wish to seek out lower carbon fuels as alternatives and Hydrogen is one option which you will increasingly see as well as battery power. Which choice for traction is right?
A key factor for many in choosing Hydrogen over battery for rollingstock, is that it is more energy dense than battery power. Where space or weight is constrained, as is typical on a vehicle, you can go further per kilogram or per cubic meter on hydrogen than you can on battery power. In practice this means that where routes are longer and services not frequent enough to justify overhead electrification that hydrogen becomes a good alternative to diesel powered vehicles. For freight locomotives the energy density becomes even more apparent and battery power over any significant distance usually becomes impractical.