In the current global pandemic, countries around the globe can be seen implementing lockdowns to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Lockdown is a protocol that prevents people from leaving or entering a given area. During this time, some very positive effects of lockdown have been seen on our ecosystem, i.e., a high reduction in air/water/noise pollution, This was because only a limited number of people, organizations, and activities were allowed by the government bodies to operate in this period (mostly related to essential services).
This reduction in pollution led to cleaner water bodies, breathable air in the densely populated cities, and many more positive aspects. But these positive effects will soon be overturned as the lockdown is slowly being lifted, and one of the main reasons will be our transportation, which emits carbon dioxide and other harmful gases that are responsible for global warming and other serious environmental problems. There is no denying that transportation is vital and cannot be done away with; therefore, several automobile companies are working towards developing vehicles and systems to create much cleaner and eco-friendly transportation means.
One of the ways to reduce pollution is to adopt sustainable development so that pollution is controlled, and natural resources are conserved for an extended period of time. One such example of sustainable development that will help in this case is the hydrogen economy. The hydrogen economy is a vision of using hydrogen as a commercial fuel. It also refers to the concept of using hydrogen as a low carbon fuel.
In a recently published patent application (US20200070680A1) filed by Honda Motors, they disclose a system which will help in the growth of the hydrogen economy. The invention discloses a vehicle management system that manages a fleet of electric vehicles and hydrogen vehicles. The system has a market component, an electric vehicle component, and a hydrogen vehicle component. The market component monitors markets to identify parameters (like price, demand, and supply of fuel) related to the electricity and hydrogen market. The electric vehicle component analyses the parameters and, based on the analysis, instruct electric vehicles to provide electricity for hydrogen generation. The hydrogen vehicle component instructs hydrogen vehicles to obtain the hydrogen that is generated by the electric vehicles accordingly. In this way, this system aims to direct the electric vehicle to provide energy (electrical) for hydrogen generation, which is then used by the hydrogen vehicles.
For a better understanding of the patent, an example is provided, if the price of electricity per unit is low or the demand of hydrogen is high, then the electric vehicles are instructed to provide electricity for hydrogen generation, and hydrogen vehicles may be directed to fill their fuel tank by the fuel generated by the electric vehicles accordingly. We hope Honda will be able to materialize this invention into a full-fledged network of electric and fuel-cell vehicles. When will that happen is a question we will answer in a future blog post.