Thirteen leading energy, transport and industry companies launched a global initiative to voice a united vision and long-term ambition for hydrogen to foster the energy transition at the World Economic Forum in Davos on 17th January 2017. A Toyota press release stated:

“In the first global initiative of its kind, the ‘Hydrogen Council’ is determined to position hydrogen among the key solutions of the energy transition. Hydrogen is a versatile energy carrier with desirable characteristics since it does not release any CO2 at the point of use as a clean fuel or energy source, and can play a significant role in the transition to a clean, low-carbon, energy system. Hydrogen technologies and products have significantly progressed over past years and are now being introduced to the market. The Council will work with, and provide recommendations to, a number of key stakeholders such as policy makers, business and hydrogen players, international agencies and civil society to achieve these goals.

During the launch, members of the ‘Hydrogen Council’ confirmed their ambition to accelerate their significant investment in the development and commercialization of the hydrogen and fuel cell sectors. These investments currently amount to an estimated total value of €1.4 Bn/year1. This acceleration will be possible if the key stakeholders increase their backing of hydrogen as part of the future energy mix with appropriate policies and supporting schemes.

Meeting in Davos for the first time on Tuesday, the ‘Hydrogen Council’ is currently made up of 13 CEOs and Chairpersons from various industries and energy companies committed to helping achieve the ambitious goal of reaching the 2 degrees Celsius target as agreed in the 2015 Paris Agreement. The international companies currently involved are: Air Liquide, Alstom, Anglo American, BMW GROUP, Daimler, ENGIE, Honda, Hyundai Motor, Kawasaki, Royal Dutch Shell, The Linde Group, Total and Toyota. The Council is led by two Co-Chairs from different geographies and sectors, currently represented by Air Liquide and Toyota.”

The Hydrogen Council published a report on the status and the role of hydrogen in the energy transition.

A recent report by IHS on the hydrogen fuel electric vehicles and refuelling infrastructure market, forecasts that by 2027 FCEV’s will represent less than 0.1 percent of all vehicles produced. One of the major hindrances being the average cost of a refuelling station being around $3 million (USD). The production forecast totals around 75 000 for the year 2027.



This projection was made before the major hydrogen investment was announced in Davos. The Hydrogen Council’s report expects that by the early 2020s, a significant ramp-up is expected and OEMs will have the capacity to produce tens of thousands of commercially available passenger FCEVs a year. This is in line with several countries’ ambitious FCEV deployment targets. China, for example, has set the goal of having 50,000 FCEVs on the road by 2025 and 1 million by 2030. Japan plans to deploy 200,000 FCEVs by 2025 and 0.8 million by 2030.

Furthermore, leading Western and Asian countries are planning to roll out significant hydrogen infrastructure over the coming decade. In Europe, the number of stations is expected to double biannually, with up to 400 stations in Germany alone by 2023, and California has set the goal of having 100 stations by 2020. Japan already has more than 80 stations operating, and South Korea and China are planning to set up a hydrogen network, together aiming for 830 stations by 2025. The total targeted number of more than 3,000 stations in 2025 will be sufficient to provide hydrogen for about 2 million FCEVs. After this initial development phase, refuelling infrastructure will be self-sustained.

Via Toyota

Photo: courtesy FCH JU: FCH JU director Bart Biebuyck, NHA director Morry Markowitz, Hydrogen Europe secretary general Jorgo Chatzimarkakis at the Hydrogen Council announcement in Davos