Ecosystems of New Mobility Output Paper - Ecosystem of a Hydrogen-based Society Extract



July 2020

This is a brief extract from the Ecosystem of a Hydrogen-based Society section of the recently released Ecosystems of New Mobility Output Paper developed from the FISITA World Mobility Summit 2019.

The concept of the hydrogen economy where all activity requiring transportable energy could be achieved using hydrogen was first proposed by GREGORY in the 1970s. In addition, it was thought, at that time, that by year 2000 with limitless nuclear energy likely from nuclear fusion as well as fission, we would have substituted hydrogen for hydrocarbons. It was easy to speculate that the hydrogen would be made from the electrolysis of water. Distribution would be by gas mains from dispersed plants because, at that time, most industrialised cities distributed coal gas to most houses and businesses. This gas was about two-thirds hydrogen and manufactured from coal as the name implies, it was stored in large adjustable size tanks (gasometers) and produced coke as a by-product. Alternatively, BOCKRIS argued in his 1975 book Energy, the Solar-Hydrogen Alternative that the electricity for making hydrogen would come from solar energy. Today, with the same interest in sustainability, we can add the upsurge of wind energy and a steady growth in hydro-electricity to the supply side.

There is now a strong-third cycle of interest in fuel cell (FCs) technology which has matured considerably. The first cycle was in the 50s when Renault (and later others) built the first fuel cell cars and FCs use in space programs gave them status. The second in the late 90s when GM amongst many other OEMs expected to have ‘production ready’ fuel cell cars by 2004 and indeed there were demonstration fleets that ran widely and included 30 Mercedes fuel cell buses which ran in around seven European, American, Icelandic and Australian city bus fleets. However, it is by no means certain that fuel cells are the only way forward as there are many internal combustion-engine experiments that show close to fuel cell powertrain efficiency.

Like much in engineering, revisiting ideas of the past can yield advantages in the light of new technology from nano-scale systems to fast response, control and delivery systems. The ecosystem of a hydrogen-based society would be heavily focused on the fuel cell and the hybrid fuel cell vehicle (FCHV) as the enabler for the transport component. Its ability to convert a carbon-less fuel, hydrogen to electricity on the vehicle is appealing as concern about climate change grows. Despite the drawback of low energy density compared with carbon-based fuels, FCHVs are able competitors to battery electric vehicles (BEV), especially for larger cars and SUVs and for goods transport based on better energy density and range and much shorter refuelling times. The supply of hydrogen from non-renewable and renewable sources is discussed. It appears likely that in the first instance FCHVs will be used in well developed areas of the world because of the lack of hydrogen distribution infrastructure, in contrast to global, widely distributed electricity that can support BEVs.

What are some of the ecosystems that are developing in the automotive industry? The FISITA World Mobility Summit 2019 Output Paper provides an insight in to some of these and highlights the broad discussions that were held in November 2019 in Nagoya, Japan between participants and leading experts involved in new auto-making-related technologies such as on-board software, energy, vehicle development systems, and production engineering.

More about Ecosystems of New Mobility

Ecosystems of New Mobility

The latest Output Papers and Conference Proceedings from FISITA are available on the FISITA Store. Ecosystems of New Mobility is available free of charge to employees of FISITA Corporate Members and to members of national Automotive Engineering Societies that are members of FISITA; to others, it is available for £260. Free access is granted through a code that has been sent to member representatives - please contact FISITA to find out more. The Output paper is a 32-page document containing the following:

Foreword 2

Introduction 4
What do we mean by a Business Ecosystem? 5

The Big Picture’ – Answers to some burning questions 6

Ecosystem of a Transforming Car Manufacturer 10

How does a car manufacturer transform to meet the challenges associated with this vision? 10

Ecosystem of a Hydrogen-based Society 12

How will the hydrogen-based society transform mobility? 12
Are there any dangers to adopting this? 14
What new manufacturing technologies will be required? 15
How should a move to a hydrogen-based society be managed? 16

Ecosystem of a Mobility Provider 17

How Will the Wider Network of Companies Influence How Car Manufacturers Create and Capture Value as Mobility Providers? 17
Who will be the main contributors to the ecosystem? 17
Are there any dangers to consider? 18
What Will the Supply Chain Look Like? 18

Automotive Software and Connected Applications 20

E/E (Electric/Electronic) Architecture 20
Need for portable Software (SW) functions running on different Hardware (HW) platforms (incl. cloud/back-end) 21
Software Architecture 22
Shorter development and update cycles 22
Functional enhancement over vehicle lifetime, could be the driver for new business models 22Individualization / UX, esp. for shared mobility 22
Big Data: provide new value-added functions and services by usage of AI methods for data analysis in back-end (e.g. predictive diagnostics) 23
What Are the Latest Advances in Automotive Software and Connected Applications? 23
How Will These Affect the Future of Mobility? 23
Are There Any Dangers to Consider? How Are These Being Tackled? 23

Conclusion/Closing Thoughts 25

Appendix One – FISITA World Mobility Summit - World Café Session Results 26

Engineering and Sustainability 26
Networking and IT 26

Contributors and Acknowledgements 27

List of References 28

The Ecosystems of New Mobility Output Paper was compiled and edited by Philippa Morrell at FISITA with contributors including:

  • Roger Ordman Aurora Labs
  • Kazuoki Matsugatani, PhD DENSO Corporation
  • Chris Mason FISITA
  • Dr Karl Siebertz Ford Research & Advanced Engineering Europe
  • Daniel Nicholson General Motors
  • Tohru Hara Mitsubishi Motors Corporation
  • Michael Bauer Robert Bosch GmbH
  • Dirk Oertel Robert Bosch GmbH
  • Stefan Spannhake Robert Bosch GmbH
  • Dr Dennis Kengo Oka Synopys Inc.
  • Akihito Tanke Toyota Motor Corporation
  • Prof Harry Watson (Retired) University of Melbourne
  • Herbert Rixen Yazaki Europe Limited

More about Summit

The FISITA World Mobility Summit is an annual technical leadership event for the preeminent executives in automotive and mobility systems engineering. A paper is published after every Summit to present an overview to those involved and for the wider FISITA community. Contributions are welcome from attendees and the wider community.

From the Foreword to Ecosystems of New Mobility by Tohru Hara, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, JSAE Executive Member of Board of Directors – International Affairs: “The FISITA World Mobility Summit has become an extremely meaningful opportunity to discuss the future of various technological, strategic, and social challenges and opportunities related to automobiles.

A Briefing Paper is published after every Summit to present an overview to those involved and support them and others. The challenges we face will not be solved overnight, it is crucial for parties from around the world to gather and hold continued discussions on the course of action to pursue to solve as many of these challenges as possible. The FISITA World Mobility Summit will continue to provide an excellent opportunity to do so.”

For further information on the next Summit, please go to: