The possibility of the end of combustion engines is not nonsense, it is absolutely true. With zero-emission cars on the road, the European Union’s pressure to promote sustainable mobility and punish all those who use gasoline is a reality. If we doubt when we will no longer enjoy the internal combustion motorcycle and if there is a solution, we will only find uncertainty. But one solution remains and it is none other than the energy they claim to be the savior: hydrogen.
Currently, the EU will not ban the sale of motorcycles
The European decarbonization plan has a specific date: from 2035. The European Parliament has already approved the ban on the sale of new cars and vehicles from 2035 with diesel or gasoline engines. The only thing that does not affect motorcycles and mopeds. So, for now, we can continue buying motorcycles until 2035.
Some brands are already working on their future away from gasoline. Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha aim to be carbon neutral by 2050, while European brands are more cautious and do not speak.
Hydrogen takes our minds as an alternative to the internal combustion engine in the era of electric dominance, when we talk about carbon neutrality.
Hydrogen in motorcycles works like this
Hydrogen is an abundant and clean source of energy. In the mentioned restrictions, they speed up the consideration of this priority. There are two ways to use hydrogen for propulsion. The same propulsion engines can be used, but adapted for hydrogen instead of gasoline, or hydrogen gas can be used instead of batteries to generate electricity that powers the engine and propels it.
Hydrogen fuel cell motorcycles have two electrodes, with a membrane between them. Instead of storing energy, it converts hydrogen into electricity by reacting with oxygen in the air.
The cathode, oxygen, protons and electrons combined in this formula create a current that drives the movement; the exhaust gas, or water.
The difference is that the engines burn hydrogen in the propellant in the same way they use gasoline, while battery engines generate electricity from hydrogen stored in a battery, something very similar to de- electric car.
The Kawasaki is the only project that continues, and it uses the same engine and not a battery. The Kawasaki prototype uses the same engine as the Ninja H2, and has side cases with 10 bottles of hydrogen injected directly into the cylinders.
Reusing an almost identical internal combustion engine with the same sensations and noise, but with the advantage that the only waste it emits is water.
The problem of hydrogen engines for motorcycles
It looks great but there is a problem. And it is nothing but it needs physical space to store, and a warehouse is not enough. Battery-powered vehicles use pressurized gas molecules, but they also have the problem that they take a few minutes to charge. Also, during this time, the fuel too
Currently hydrogen electrolysis systems cost between 1,000 and 2,000 dollars per KW, and it is intended to be reduced to 500 kW. An ideal system achieves 0.03 kg per KWh. For every kilogram of pure hydrogen fuel produced for a car, between 40 and 70 kWh of energy is required.
Another problem is hydrogen charging stations, which are lacking and almost non-existent. In Germany they already have their own hydrogen station, and they invested 500 million so that by 2030 there will be 4,000 charging stations. This way, we don’t see the solution right away.