Hydrogen cars: Ontario’s leap into revolutionizing mobility


Imagine a future where your vehicle choices go beyond electric and internal combustion engines. Ontario’s Hydrogen Innovation Fund is making this a reality, broadening the horizon with more eco-friendly transportation options.


Hydrogen cars: Gaining momentum
in sustainable transportation

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) are an emerging class of vehicles that use fuel cells to convert hydrogen gas into electricity, powering the motor. Unlike conventional vehicles, FCVs emit only water vapour.

While electric vehicles (EVs) have been capturing headlines, there’s a growing interest in FCVs in Canada. Although the Canadian market for FCVs is still developing, initiatives like Ontario’s Hydrogen Innovation Fund are laying the groundwork for wider adoption.

The increasing interest in Canada aligns with significant sales growth in the United States. For example, Toyota’s Mirai, a leading FCV model, experienced a remarkable 882 units sold in the third quarter of 2023, a 1,016% increase year-over-year. Such trends in the US indicate a broader global shift towards hydrogen fuel, which is also taking hold in the Canadian market.


Ontario’s Hydrogen Innovation Fund

In response to this growing interest, Ontario’s Hydrogen Innovation Fund is more than a financial investment; it’s a strategic initiative to position Ontario as a leader in hydrogen fuel technology. With $15 million allocated over three years, the fund supports six projects developing low-carbon hydrogen solutions, including production and storage technologies. This initiative is vital for building a robust hydrogen infrastructure, making hydrogen vehicles a more viable and accessible option for Canadians and strengthening the province’s reliable, affordable, and clean electricity grid.


Infrastructure and market projections in Canada

The growth of hydrogen vehicles in Canada is poised to accelerate, supported by initiatives to develop refuelling infrastructure and government commitments to sustainable transportation. While the current infrastructure for hydrogen vehicles in Canada is still developing, with a handful of refuelling stations primarily in British Columbia and Quebec, the potential for expansion is significant. McKinsey’s projection that FCVs could constitute up to 20% of the total vehicle fleet by 2050 underscores the importance of investing in this technology.


The impact of hydrogen cars on Canadians

The rise of hydrogen cars offers a tangible shift in our daily transportation choices. Soon, Canadians won’t be limited to choosing between EVs and ICE cars. Hydrogen vehicles provide a practical alternative, as they can be refuelled as fast as gas vehicles and have a longer driving range.

With Canada’s targets for all new light-duty vehicles to have zero emissions by 2035 and similar regulations for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles by 2040, hydrogen cars combined with EVs can help meet this commitment.


Navigating challenges

Transitioning to hydrogen vehicles involves overcoming challenges like developing refuelling infrastructure and managing high initial costs for vehicles and fuel production. However, initiatives like Ontario’s Hydrogen Innovation Fund are key in addressing these issues, making hydrogen a more accessible and practical choice for future transportation.

Shaping a greener tomorrow

As we move towards a future where sustainability is key, it’s not just about new technologies like hydrogen cars – it’s about how we engage with these innovations. Staying informed, utilizing initiatives like Ontario’s Hydrogen Innovation Fund, and embracing eco-friendly solutions bring us closer to our goal of a more eco-friendly world.