The marriage of car sharing and hydrogen economy: A possible solution to the main problems of urban living

Akos Kriston, Tamás Szabó, György Inzelt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)


The hydrogen economy is seeking its killer application, which can break down the 'chicken and egg problem', i.e., no hydrogen powered car can be sold if it cannot be refueled, and nobody will invest to a hydrogen refueling station if no one has a hydrogen powered vehicle. The applications like material handling, backup-power, and small stationary combined heat and power (CHP) engines are the most promising candidates, which may show financial return in 3-5 years. The replacement of fossil fuel with hydrogen in the automotive industry offers a substantial reduction of the harmful environmental effects, however, it is still the most challenging because of the absence of the hydrogen infrastructure, the price and the lifetime of the fuel cell (FC) engine and the unsuitable regulations, as well. In this work a new possible market was identified and analyzed in different points of view. This market segment is a car-sharing system operating with small urban vehicles, which not only can solve some environmental problems (e.g., air pollution and CO2 emission), but also helps to reduce congestion, secure energy supply and ease its distribution. First, a sensitivity analysis was done and the key performance indicators of the system were determined. The financial return of a hydrogen-based car-sharing system was examined carefully as a function of the rated power of the fuel cell power train, the way of hydrogen supply, the cost of the hydrogen and the size of the car fleet. Finally, a possible hydrogen-based car-sharing service was designed and optimized to the downtown of Budapest, Hungary. A sustainable system was proposed, which can satisfy the needs of the business (i.e., profitability) and the environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12697-12708
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2010



  • Car sharing
  • Economies of scale
  • Fuel cell
  • Hungary
  • Hydrogen production
  • Ultra-light vehicle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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