Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking welcomes a fact-based analysis on a portfolio of power-trains for Europe

The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking is very pleased to acknowledge the publication of a comprehensive fact-based study prepared by some thirty of the largest global car manufacturers, oil and gas companies, utilities, NGOs, European Commission, governmental and clean energy organisations, who compared the economics, sustainability and performance of the vehicles andinfrastructures needed to reach the 80% decarbonisation goal set by the European Union.


The study which presents a portfolio of power-trains – battery electric vehicles (BEV), plug-in hybrids and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) – highlights the complementary nature of these technologies, with each providing a solution for different environments and driving behaviours. Although internal combustion engines still have the potential to reduce emissions by a further 30%, only electric drive cars can dramatically reduce CO2 and improve local emissions. FCEVs appear to be the lowest-carbon solution for long distance driving and family-size cars. With more than 500 fuel cell cars of all sizes covering more than 15 million kilometres and 90,000 refuellings over the past few years, car manufacturers have signalled their readiness to move into large-scale production of FCEVs.

Since a full portfolio of power-trains is required to meet the needs of consumers, the environment and several refuelling infrastructures to ensure the long-term sustainability of personal mobility in Europe, are needed.

The study touches also upon the issue of investment cycles in infrastructures which can be lengthy and highlight the necessity to bridge early mover disadvantages with adequate policies so that commercial scale up can be enhanced.

Welcoming these encouraging developments, Bert De Colvenaer, Executive Director of the Joint Undertaking, underlined:

In relation to the transport and refuelling infrastructure application area, accounting for a large part of our operational budget, I particularly welcome the excellent benchmarking exercise undertaken to analyse different power-train systems in Europe and use to provide a solid basis for developing a business case for the commercialisation of promising technologies such as fuels cells and hydrogen.

Together with feedback from various projects supported by our scheme, this will definitely help us shape more adequately our support notably in that application area.

We would support similar initiatives in the stationary domain as well as in early markets (back up power, forkflifts).



The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint technology Initiative was launched on 14th October 2008. Its main goal is to speed up the development of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies in Europe to enable their commercialisation between 2010 and 2020. Current membership includes the European Commission and 64 companies, from multinationals to small and medium-sized enterprises, represented by the European Industry Grouping for the FCH JTI (NEW IG), as well as 54 universities and research institutes, represented by the Research Grouping N.ERGHY, employing more than 2000 researchers in the field of fuel cells and hydrogen.

For more information on the Fuel cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, please visit:


Background about the study: “A portfolio of power-trains for Europe: a fact-based analysis. The Role of Battery Electric Vehicles, Plug-in Hybrids and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles

In September 2009, both the European Union and G8 leaders agreed that CO2 emissions must be cut by 80% by 2050 if atmospheric CO2 is to stabilise at 450 parts per million2 – and global warming stay below the safe level of 2ºC. But 80% decarbonisation overall by 2050 requires 95% decarbonisation of the road transport sector.

To this end, a group of companies, government organisations and an NGO – the majority with specific interests in the potential (or the commercialisation) of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and hydrogen, but with a product range also spanning battery electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and conventional vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICEs) – undertook a study on passenger cars in order to assess alternative power trains most likely to fulfil that need. Medium or heavy-duty vehicles were not included.

This study is the first of its kind, as conclusions are based on confidential, granular, and proprietary data, provided by key industry players which have investments in a variety of technologies. This has allowed a “clean team” from an independent management consultancy to make a factual comparison between the four different power-trains. The study therefore provides a very reliable and accurate analysis of a portfolio of power-trains in a CO2 constrained and less energy secure world.

The report’s analysis shows that the report’s assumptions are robust to significant variations, whether with large shifts in technology cost-reduction rates or cost of fossil fuels.  Furthermore, the study notes that whilst affordable, a portfolio of power-trains and infrastructures is robust to energy shocks and is likely to enhance Europe’s energy security.  

Companies and organisations from across the value chain participated in this study, including representatives of the following sectors: Car manufacturers, Oil and gas, Utilities, Wind, Electrolyser companies, on-governmental organisations, Governmental organisations


For more information on the study and to down load the report, please visit:  www.zeroemissionvehicles.eu

Contact details:

Alexandra Reis

NEW-IG Secretariat


Tel: +32 2 289 09 47

M: +32 488 248 298

Contact details:

Claire Castel, communication officer

Fuel cells and hydrogen Joint Undertaking


Tel: +322 221 81 35