Unlocking hydrogen’s power for greener transportation

Published 14 August 2023

Decarbonising concrete and cement transportation poses challenges – hydrogen may be the missing puzzle piece given payload and uptime benefits. The industry should take this opportunity to create ecosystems that deploy the trucks and infrastructure. By Bernd Heid, McKinsey & Co, USA, Christopher Martens, McKinsey & Co, Germany, and Markus Wilthaner, McKinsey & Co, Belgium.

Figure 1: the hydrogen refuelling market in Europe is projected to increase by ~95 per cent per annum by 2035

(Source: McKinsey & Co Inc)

The transportation industry is under pressure to rapidly decarbonise. Regulatory changes, as well as customer demand for greener transportation value chains, are prompting the industry to adapt. In short-haul freight, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) – namely trucks and vans – are already reaching total cost of ownership (TCO) parity in the first use cases, helping simplify the transition for fleets. This is enabled by declining battery costs and the launch of new vehicles, including purpose-built battery electric delivery vans.

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