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China Opens First Hydrogen Industrial Vehicle Production Line

Hydrogen Industrial Vehicle Production Line
China’s First Hydrogen Industrial Vehicle Production Line Now Operational. Credit: Just Power Technology Company, China

China has finally put into operation its first hydrogen powered industrial vehicle production line, located in an industrial park in Chancheng District in the city of Foshan of Guangdong Province. Specializing in the power systems of industrial vehicles, it will support the green development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

The production line was completed within six months by Just Power, a power technology company in Guangdong.

According to analysts, with clean energy, the line will help China achieve its carbon peaking and neutrality goals. As a result, industries from transportation to the petrochemical sectors will be able to accelerate the green shift.

During a Saturday press conference hosted by the China Energy Research Society and local governments, officials announced that it would be the first set production line for hydrogen energy industrial vehicle manufacturing in China.

Hydrogen powered automotive vehicles included in production lines

During the showcase on Saturday, a wide range of machinery in the new production, such as hydrogen powered forklifts, tractors, tour cars, and mobile hydrogen batteries, were exhibited.

China is the world’s largest hydrogen producer with an annual hydrogen energy output of circa thirty-three million tons. In addition, over three hundred hydrogen enterprises contribute to the main annual business revenue of $2.84 million (twenty million yuan) minimum.

During the 2022 China Hydrogen Industry Conference Shen Zhulin from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China’s top economic planner said that the country has experienced an increasingly mature hydrogen energy sector through supportive policies, robust market demand, and emerging new technologies.

Hydrogen Fuel Clean Cities
Credit: National Renewable Energy Lab CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0 / Flickr

Hydrogen energy significant in China’s “dual carbon” goal

As China’s hydrogen energy industry is still in its infancy, it continues to face multiple problems, such as weak innovation capabilities, a low level of technical equipment, and insufficient basic support for industrial development.

In March 2022, however, it released a plan for the sector’s development during the 2021 to 2035 period. The country now aims to achieve its green and low-carbon transformation with a vibrant hydrogen energy industry, so hydrogen energy will feature as a significant part of its future energy mix.

China expects to have CO2 emissions peak sometime before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. According to official data, in 2021, the proportion of clean energy consumption there reached 25.5 percent, which was up from 14.5 percent in 2012. This decreased the total coal consumption share to 56 percent, which is 12.5 percentage points less in comparison to 2012.

Greece and Europe to adopt hydrogen energy

Hydrogen accounts for less than two percent of Europe’s present energy consumption and is primarily used to produce chemical products, such as plastics and fertilizers, according to EU statistics.

In addition, 96 percent of this hydrogen production is through natural gas, resulting in significant amounts of CO2 emissions which can be obtained via electrolysis using renewable electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.

Greece is setting an ambitious target to produce green hydrogen, which will complete the energy transition equation by replacing fossil fuels in sectors that are difficult to electrify, such as heavy industry and transport.

It hopes to attain this through national policy based on the equally ambitious goals set by the European Union as part of its strategy for climate neutrality (Fit for 55) and disengagement from Russian fuel (REPowerEU).

The country is devising its own strategy for the inclusion of hydrogen in its energy mix, claiming a role as a green hydrogen junction due to the natural gas pipelines that pass through its territory and those in the planning stage.

With the implementation of hydrogen energy use, it will be a key agent in decarbonizing sectors at a time when other alternatives might be unfeasible or more expensive.

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