This research undertakes an investigation of global fuel cell vehicle (FCV) deployment, cognizant of optimal economic deployment and stakeholder preferences in a case study of Japan out to the year 2050. The model is mathematically formulated as a large-scale linear optimization problem, aiming to minimize system costs, including generation type, fuel, conversion, and carbon reduction, subject to the constraint of carbon dioxide reduction targets. Results show that between ∼0.8 and 2% of global energy consumption needs can be met by hydrogen by 2050, with city gas and transport emerging as significant use cases. Passenger FCVs and hydrogen buses account for most of the hydrogen-based transportation sector, leading to a global deployment of ∼120 million FCVs by 2050. Hydrogen production is reliant on fossil fuels, and OECD nations are net importers - especially Japan. To underpin hydrogen production from fossil fuels, carbon capture and storage is required in significant quantities when anticipating a large fleet of FCVs. Stakeholder engagement suggests optimism toward FCV deployment while policy issues identified include the necessity for large-scale future energy system investment and rapid technical and economic feasibility progress for renewables and electrolysers to achieve a hydrogen economy which is not reliant on fossil fuels.
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