The role of hydrogen in Bavaria’s mobility future has sparked a heated debate, with the passenger association PRO BAHN taking a clear stance: hydrogen is deemed “meaningless” for the region’s transportation needs.
This declaration comes as electrification gains a strong foothold in the state, both on the road and rail. In this article, we delve into the reasons behind this strong opinion and the implications it holds for Bavaria’s mobility landscape.
The evolution of transportation in Bavaria is unmistakably electric. Battery-electric solutions have become the norm, whether on the road or railways. According to PRO BAHN, this trend renders hydrogen irrelevant, serving primarily as a platform for political photo opportunities and wasteful expenditure of taxpayer funds.
Dr. Lukas Iffländer, Chairman of the Bavarian State Association of PRO BAHN, expresses this viewpoint unequivocally. He believes that the market has already determined the future of land transportation in Bavaria, and it’s electric. This applies across the board, encompassing rail transport, buses, and cars. The association asserts that only through substantial financial investment can hydrogen “pilot projects” persist, despite having little practical significance other than providing costly photo opportunities.
Bavaria’s Hydrogen Outlook
While Bavaria clings to hydrogen for certain mobility applications, other federal states have moved forward, opting for the more efficient and established electric alternative. Recent technology-neutral tenders have shown that electric drives are prevailing, further solidifying the role of electrification in Bavaria’s transportation sector.
Battery-electric buses, for instance, are now capable of covering 250 kilometers on a single charge, with future advancements promising even greater ranges. In contrast, hydrogen remains scarce, expensive to produce, and inefficient. It’s regarded as a resource that should be preserved for sectors where there are no viable alternatives, not transportation.
Electrifying Bavaria’s Railways
Dr. Iffländer highlights that for Bavarian railways, a comprehensive analysis of all local transport lines has been conducted. The findings reveal that complete electrification is both feasible and straightforward. This study’s results can be accessed online, emphasizing the viability of electrification compared to hydrogen.
In summary, the debate surrounding hydrogen in Bavaria’s mobility future hinges on practicality, efficiency, and taxpayer value. While hydrogen may find its place in specific sectors, electrification, with its proven track record and technological progress, appears to be the prevailing choice for land transportation in the region.