BP sees no future for hydrogen cars

Even though BP is one of the big investors in the hydrogen business, the oil company sees no future for fuelling cars with hydrogen. BP assesses the market potential for H2 cars as virtually non-existent for 2035 and 2050.

In “light vehicles”, cars and vans, the market share of hydrogen as a fuel is precisely zero in 2035 and 2050 under BP’s net-zero scenario, with more than 70% using electricity.

Even if the future vision of ‘Net Zero’ is not achieved, the fuel cell in passenger cars plays no role in the more emission-intense scenarios the oil corporation comes up with.

Looking at a world with a CO2 reduction of 30 or 75 per cent, the BP forecast sees this achieved with battery-electric cars and remainders of the ICE age. In both scenarios, the share of hydrogen cars in 2035 is zero; for 2050, BP assumes a niche of 0.3 to 0.6 per cent market share.

With its hydrogen plans – specifically, BP wants to produce 500,000 to 700,000 tonnes of “mainly” green hydrogen per year by 2030 – the company primarily targets “processes that are difficult to electrify”.

In other words, the steel and chemical industries or their own oil refineries. In the transport sector, BP sees shipping and aviation as potential hydrogen consumers. And, if on the road, then in heavy goods traffic.

Overall, the ‘BP Energy Outlook 2023’ includes mainly petrochemical products and only small amounts of biofuel and natural gas. Synthetic fuels are not mentioned.