So what is this so-called posh fuel that Rolls Royce is considering as an alternative to battery-powered cars? The answer is hydrogen. While the lives of most Rolls Royce owners may not revolve around commoners, if the company does switch to hydrogen fuel cells, future owners will be using the most common element in the universe.
But here’s the real question: if hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, why is it not the most widely used source of energy here on planet Earth?
On Earth, Hydrogen is primarily found in compounds such as water (H2O) or hydrocarbons. Extracting hydrogen from these compounds can be energy-intensive, making it less favourable as an energy source. Additionally, hydrogen gas is extremely light and tends to disperse quickly, which makes storage and transportation challenging.
Furthermore, while hydrogen is a clean-burning fuel, its production often relies on fossil fuels, such as natural gas, which offsets its environmental benefits. This process is called steam methane reforming, which releases carbon dioxide as a byproduct. Therefore, using hydrogen as an energy source doesn’t always result in a net reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
For Rolls Royce to overcome these challenges advancements in hydrogen production methods and infrastructure is required. Developing more sustainable ways to produce hydrogen, such as electrolysis powered by renewable energy sources like solar or wind, could address the environmental concerns associated with its production.
Significant progress is being made in the field of hydrogen technology, and it is being explored for various applications, including transportation. However, it still faces hurdles in terms of infrastructure, cost-effectiveness, and public acceptance. Battery-powered electric vehicles have gained popularity due to advancements in battery technology, existing charging infrastructure, and improved energy efficiency.
While hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, its widespread use on Earth as an energy source is limited due to challenges in production, storage, transportation, and cost. For Rolls Royce, The decision to invest in a particular in hydrogen fuel cell technology depends on various factors, including financial considerations, technological feasibility, market demand, and strategic priorities.
Ultimately, without specific information on Rolls Royce’s internal strategies and priorities, it is not possible to definitively conclude whether or not they have the resources to invest in hydrogen fuel cell technology.