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Sustainable transport visions: What role for hydrogen and fuel cell vehicle technologies?

: Whitmarsh, L.; Wietschel, M.


Energy and Environment 19 (2008), Nr.2, S.207-226
ISSN: 0958-305X
Fraunhofer ISI ()

Transport systems perform vital societal functions, but in their present state cannot be considered 'sustainable'. Particular concerns in this respect include emissions, accidents, land use, noise and inaccessibility of amenities. Increasing attention is being focussed on hydrogen transport technologies as a possible means of achieving more sustainable transport. In this paper, we draw on expert stakeholder evidence and the wider literature to elucidate criteria for sustainable transport and determine the extent to which hydrogen transport technologies can meet these criteria. Our findings indicate that hydrogen could alleviate some of the problems in the transport sector associated with emissions and energy supply security. However, other transport problems are not mitigated - and some may even be exacerbated - by hydrogen use. Thus, we highlight the need for integrated transport policies and argue for more reflexive and inclusive societal debate about the impacts and beneficiaries of hydrogen transport technologies.