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Can hydrogen win?: exploring scenarios for hydrogen fuelled vehicles

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Thesis type
(Research Project) M.R.M.
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This study explored the conditions under which hydrogen might succeed in Canada’s transportation sector in a carbon-constrained world. Long-run simulations were created using CIMS, a hybrid energy-economy model that is technologically explicit, behaviourally realistic, and incorporates drivers of technological change. A hydrogen supply submodel was built to simulate economies of scale in infrastructure. Capital costs, technology performance, infrastructure, fuel prices, and other conditions were varied in the simulations. All scenarios included a carbon tax and a vehicle emission standard that mandated a minimum market share for zero- and near-zero emission vehicles. Hydrogen was found to gain less market share than other options such as biofuel plug-in hybrids, but did well when biofuels were removed or priced excessively. Hydrogen fuel cells failed unless costs were assumed to descend independent of demand. However, hydrogen vehicles were shown to have little environmental advantage over other zero- and near-zero emission vehicles.
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