Stellantis bets on h2 for vans

Previously we outlined ten reasons hydrogen was dead for transportation, yet we see Stellantis flawed hydrogen strategy proposed by the CEO. Despite Carolos Tavares says in an online event that the cost of hydrogen mobility is ‘sky high’, just two months after introducing eight new H2 van models. He says fuel-cell road transport is ‘far from being affordable’, with cost being an ‘enormous challenge’.

Carlos was speaking at Stellantis Freedom of Mobility Forum as reported by Hydrogen Insight.

Twice as expensive may be something of an underestimate, depending on the market, with Hydrogen Insight writing in September last year that it was almost 14 times more expensive to drive a Toyota fuel-cell car than a comparable Tesla EV.

FCEV Vehicles Cost More to Run?

1. Efficiency of Fuel

Direct electrification is 77% versus 33% (Anticipated improvement by both technologies by 2050). Both assume 100% renewable energy.

hyrogen efficiency
Hydrogen Efficiency by Dr Paul Martin
Graphic from Guardian at

2. Cost of Green Hydrogen

Analysts suggest that green H2 needs to be $1 kg to be competitive. Currently it is about $4 wholesale and $15/kg at the pump. Will advances in electrolyzer provide lower costs. Yes. But the technology advances will need to be storage and distribution.

3. Cost of Vehicles

The physical nature of H2 vehicles has additional parts. As battery costs continue to come under $50 per Wh/kg, halving from 2023, the gap widens.

ten reasons hydrogen cars are dead

Stellantis Flawed Hydrogen Strategy

Stellantis makes battery electric vehicles and investing in battery factories so it is puzzling they are pursuing a H2 pathway. Is is for compliance, and to make use of government subsidies to develop their own alternate niche market segments? Or saving face from past decisions? Is it part of the Stellantis media strategy that states fossil fueled cars are not likely to be replace by BEV for at least a decadd. Company executives are unwilling to change the narrative?

  • Stellantis cites fast refuelling time as the main advantage for fuel-cell vans over battery models — for “intensive customer use”. They claim 4 to 5 minutes, with a range of 400km
  • Use existing manufacturing lines for the Citroën ë-Jumpy and ë-Jumper, Fiat Professional E-Scudo and E-Ducato, Opel/Vauxhall Vivaro and Movano, and Peugeot E-Expert and E-Boxer
  • Purchased fuel cell maker French fuel-cell supplier Symbio in 2022 with plans to produce over 10,000 vehicle

More Reading

  1. Cost of hydrogen mobility is “sky-high” Hydrogen Insights 2024
  2. Stellantis starts production of large hydrogen vans in Poland. Reuters 2024
  3. Will hydrogen overtake batteries in the race for zero-emission cars? The Guardian.