Hydrogen is a possible alternative to the internal combustion engine, alongside battery-powered vehicles, in the context of reducing greenhouse gas emissions as- sociated with transport activities. The costs associated with hydrogen vehicles are currently high, even when considering the greenhouse gas emissions and other pol- lutants avoided by their use. Efforts to reduce these costs, which will determine the social and environmental desirability of hydrogen vehicles, face two challenges : the high cost of refueling, linked to the crucial problem of coordination between deve- lopment of the vehicle fleet and refueling infrastructure; and high purchase prices, which may decrease when sufficient quantities generate experience effects. This po- licy brief argues that each of these two handicaps calls for a specific policy design : at a local level for coordination between actors, and at a European level to generate sufficient volumes. The example of hydrogen-powered urban buses offers a telling illustration of these issues.
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