Taxi fleets continue to see market uptake – Copenhagen alone has a hydrogen fleet of more than 100 vehicles – and there are more than 250 buses in operation across six countries, as the continent accelerates decarbonisation, offering good fuel efficiency of 6/7kg of hydrogen per 100km.

Trucks continue to be at the vanguard of hydrogen vehicle development, with prototypes being developed, while rail and aviation are undergoing testing.

Lionel Boillot, Project Officer at the Clean Hydrogen Partnership, said the H2Haul project has adopted prototypes from two OEMs, with 16 truck set to be deployed this year and next.

“The aim is to have them running long haul distances – at 600km at least – and through the Clean Hydrogen JU, we want to multiply the ambitions by 10, and have 100 trucks. Hopefully it will start next year.”

Light duty vehicles are gathering momentum too with FCEVs cumulative distance growing from 0.6m km in 2016 to 35m kms this year, and more publically available data collection and analysis.

Boillot said the key factor of success has been the combined deployment of the infrastructure and the vehicles – so you kill the ‘chicken and egg’ problem.

But in a post-fossil-fuel era, consumers’ perceptions need to match the technological changes.

“A developed country is not where poor people have cars – it’s where rich people use public transport,” he said.

To that end, the city of Pau in France is among the front runners, with eight 145-passenger hydrogen Febus fuel cell buses in operation, providing 400km range, which have chalked up 763,000km in journeys in the last three years.

Boillot added, “It’s not just a way of moving passengers from one place to another, it can act as a springboard for larger hydrogen valleys, and creating high value jobs locally.”

He turned attention to the maritime sector, where pilots and experiments to speed up standards have been accelerating, and power capacity has increased markedly in the last five years.

Pilots for clean port operations in container and ferry terminals are underway, with heat and on-shore power projects evident in the ports of Palma (100kW), Orkney (75kW) and Tenerife (100kW), and heavy machinery for container handling in the Port of Valencia.

A study on hydrogen in ports and industrial coastal areas, due for completion next October, will forecast hydrogen demand and supply transiting through European ports in the next 30 years, and viability of a European Hydrogen Ports Network.