Brussels’ green Mobility Minister cool lover of hydrogen
With Brussels banning internal combustion engines in 2035, the MR wonders about the possible development of hydrogen filling stations for fuel cell vehicles. Brussels Mobility Minister, Alain Maron (Ecolo), prefers to use the technology to store energy rather than to power vehicles.
The recently elected Brussels government announced its ambitious plan for the Region’s future. It wishes to reach carbon-neutrality by 2050. To get to that goal, the Region plans to ban all internal combustion vehicles from 2035 onward.
What about hydrogen?
“If we want to reach carbon-neutrality by 2050, the fuel-cell car is an important asset, among other alternatives. However, hydrogen vehicles weren’t mentioned at all in the Brussels government agreement,” declares MR Deputy, Aurélie Czekalski.
The liberal political party calls for the further development of fuel cell infrastructure. It calls for the installation of numerous hydrogen filling stations all around the Region. “Fuel cell cars don’t emit any greenhouse gases, and they can get a refill for a 500-kilometer range in only five minutes,” adds the deputy.
‘More polluting than electric’
To answer the deputy’s question, Brussels Mobility Minister, Alain Maron (Ecolo), cites the results of a 2015 VUB study on the electric and CNG cars potential in Brussels.
“This study showed that taking into account the complete life cycle of the vehicle, the overall emissions of a hydrogen car would be worse than that of a conventional electric vehicle,” Alain Maron said.
The Minister also points at the difficulty of installing such filling infrastructure and the noise pollution compressors needed to bring the hydrogen under a pressure of 350 bars, create.
‘Not for powering vehicles’
“It seems to us, at this stage, that if a green hydrogen industry develops, it’s more beneficial to use it for the storage of surplus renewable energy than to power vehicles. We support various projects on alternative fuels and energy storage for that matter,” adds the Brussels Mobility Minister.
The latter might be considered a rather narrow vision for an ecologist by advocates of clean energy sources. Hydrogen is considered by most experts to be the best way to go in the future, especially in the transport sector for semi-trucks and even trains and ships — all areas where diesel rules today.