The coalition study, by commissioned McKinsey & Company, assesses the role of battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and fuel cell electric vehicles in achieving significant reductions of CO2 emissions from road transportation by 2050.

Released on November 9, the study is based on more than 10,000 confidential and proprietary data points that participating companies provided to McKinsey & Company. This data included information about costs (vehicle costs, operating costs, fuels and infrastructure costs), performance, efficiency and emissions across the entire value chain.

It found that installing a dedicated hydrogen infrastructure is “justified and doable”, with an initial infrastructure investment which is “relatively low”.

The study includes that both fuel cell electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles could be cost-competitive with internal combustion engines vehicles by 2020.

Costs for a hydrogen infrastructure are comparable to installing a charging infrastructure for battery-electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

Fuel cell electric vehicles received “high marks” in all three categories analysed in the report: performance, economics and environment.

Higher risk investments by first-movers can be greatly reduced when several companies invest, coordinated by governments, and supported by dedicated funding and legislation.

The study was sponsored by BMW AG, Daimler AG, Ford, General Motors LLC, Honda R&D, Hyundai Motor Company, Kia Motors Corporation, Nissan, Renault, Toyota Motor Corporation, Volkswagen, ENI, Galp, OMV, Shell Downstream, Total, EnBW Baden-Wuerttemberg AG, Vattenfall, Air Liquide, Air Products, The Linde Group, Intelligent Energy Holdings plc, Powertech, Nordex (a wind power company), ELT Elektrolyse Technik, Hydrogenics, Hydrogen Technologies, Proton Energy Systems the Europe Climate Foundation and European Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking.